Monday, February 25, 2013
Democratic Sen. Janet Howell calls compromise — expected to raise $880 million a year for roads and mass transit —"truly the best we're going to get."
Monday, February 25
By Stephen Nielsen Capital News Service A divided Virginia Senate this weekend passed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature issue of the 2013 legislative session — a bill to overhaul the state’s system for funding transportation. Just hours before the session’s end, the Senate voted 25-15 for a bill that would raise about $880 million a year more for roads and mass transit by increasing sales taxes while lowering fuel tax. The debate over how to increase revenue continued right up to the vote. Among Arlington's representatives in the Senate, state Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, voted against the measure. Sens. Janet Howell, D-Reston, and Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, voted for it. “This isn’t any bill. This is the only bill,” said Senate Majority …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
House subcommittee rejects proposal to allow Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms.
Thursday, February 14
By Shelby Mertens Capital News Service Virginia governors will not be able to serve two consecutive terms starting in 2017, as a House of Delegates subcommittee has rejected the Senate's proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed it. Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Lynchburg, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 276. The amendment passed in the Senate late last month with a 25-15 bipartisan vote: 16 Democrats and nine Republicans voted for it, while 11 Republicans and four Democrats opposed it. When the Senate resolution crossed over to the House this week, however, it ran into trouble. The proposed amendment was assigned to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections. This week, that panel’s Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee…
Friday, January 25, 2013
Petersen: Republican effort to end winner-take-all system is 'anti-Democratic'
A Republican-led effort to end the Old Dominion's traditional winner-take-all approach to picking a president has drawn national attention and could weaken the influence of voters in urban areas like Northern Virginia. The bill, authored by state Sen. Charles Carrico, a Galax Republican, would divvy up electoral collage votes based on who wins each of this state's 11 congressional districts. Carrico has said that the current system casts aside the wishes of rural voters and that his bill is an attempt to even the playing field, according to the Roanoke Times. More broadly, proponents in the GOP say the new system would better reflect the popular vote. The bill heads to the full Senate Privileges and Elections Committee next week. Gov. Bob …
Monday, March 5, 2012
Tell us: Were riot police, SWAT teams necessary for safety around Richmond or was it an overreaction?
At Monday's Virginia Senate session, Sens. Janet Howell (D-32nd) and Chap Petersen (D-34th) denounced the use of riot police, SWAT teams carrying automatic weapons, police dogs and helicopters in response to what they called peaceful protests in Capitol Square. Protest groups have gathered several times at the square this session in the wake of legislation aimed at limiting abortion rights. On Saturday, 31 protesters were arrested — mostly for trespassing or unlawful assembly — on the state capitol steps following a women's rights rally. Prior to some of the arrests, protesters were monitored by a fully armored police SWAT team carrying automatic weapons, riot police, and police dogs, the senators said. "They were chanting, 'Tell me what …