Governor Ralph Northam says removing arrest and jail penalties for possession meant for personal use is his highest priority for criminal justice legislation in the upcoming session of Virginia’s General Assembly.
State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) announced he will introduce legislation that would allow three Northern Virginia localities to require developers to enter into agreements to protect workers who are building certain high-density projects.
“The legislation reflects the values of communities that want to ensure that workers are treated fairly, paid competitive wages and protected from wage theft,” Ebbin said.
“Without additional authority, localities cannot require developers of large projects to provide necessary protections for the workers who build those projects.”
“When we move to legalization, we need to make sure that there is a distribution system that works, that there’s not a black market, that the product is kept away from children and that the taxing is well thought out,” said Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who has introduced a decriminalization bill that, among other things, would include a mechanism for expunging the criminal records of people convicted of marijuana possession.
Ebbin’s bill includes exemptions for law enforcement, security personnel, military members and officers of the court. But it doesn’t exempt General Assembly members, some of whom have had firearm-related mishaps over the years. In 2006, a Republican delegate accidentally fired a handgun in his office, shooting into a bulletproof vest hanging on a door. In 2017, a Republican state senator accidentally left a holstered handgun on a chair in a meeting room.
Earlier this year, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, raised eyebrows by wearing a revolver on her hip while presenting her bills to a committee, a move she described as a “deterrent” to aggressive left-wing activists.
Last year, Democrats in the House of Delegates pushed for a rule change that would ban guns in the gallery overseeing the legislative floor, bringing the House in line with the same rule in the Senate. Republicans voted it down.
Here’s what stood out to us in the first batch:
SB11: Local disposable paper and plastic bag tax. Authorizes any locality to impose a tax of five cents per bag on disposable paper bags or disposable plastic bags provided to consumers by certain retailers, with certain bags being exempt from the tax. The bill allows every retailer that collects the tax to retain one cent of the five-cent tax. | Patron: Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria...