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Recent Updates

At Least One Lawmaker Wants to Prohibit Private Prisons in Virginia

November 13, 2020News Clip

Virginia has only one privately-run prison, the Lawrenceville Correctional Center in Brunswick County. For years, it's been in the crosshairs of people who are critical of the industry. One of those people is Senator Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria."We're incarcerating the people, and we have a responsibility for those inmates to do it right," Ebbin says. "However, private prisons by contrast have a motive to make money, lowering their operating costs, hiring fewer employees and pay and train them less than state-operated prisons."

 

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Virginia lawmakers say door is open to legalizing marijuana in 2021

November 13, 2020News Clip

He put the odds of passage at “slightly better than 50-50,” an assessment shared by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, who proposed the decriminalization legislation earlier this year and plans to carry a legalization bill in January with Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond.

 

While Democrats make up the bulk of support, any votes on the issue are unlikely to fall strictly on party-lines, said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws, which has led lobbying efforts on the bill and noted that about a dozen Republicans backed decriminalization.

Ebbin said that, whatever the outcome next year, it’s clear Virginia is on track to move forward sooner than later.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the people expect this to happen eventually,” he said.

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Elected Officials Rally to Save River Farm

November 13, 2020News Clip

Delegate Paul Krizek (D-44) and Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-31) met last month with AHS leadership and said they expressed their willingness to discuss placing the property into public ownership so that River Farm can remain accessible to the public for generations to come.

#We have joined a smaller fundraising group that will focus our energy on raising the necessary funds to purchase River Farm,” Krizek and Ebbin wrote in an Oct. 1 column in this paper. “We have many avenues to try to obtain this funding, including applying for grants, soliciting funds from conservation organizations and private donations, as well as from government sources.”

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Legislators near the finish line on a very special General Assembly session

November 13, 2020News Clip

The General Assembly is also working through several pieces of legislation related to policing and criminal justice reform. The omnibus policing reform bill includes a probation on no-knock warrants, the expansion of decertification measures for “bad apple law enforcement officers,” a limit on the use of chokeholds and the requirement of de-escalation training and reporting of data from all law enforcement agencies, Ebbin said.

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Virginia legislators approve drop boxes, prepaid return postage for absentee ballots

October 9, 2020News Clip

Lawmakers voted to appropriate $2 million to reimburse local governments for the cost of providing prepaid postage to voters to mail their absentee ballots. Other language in the bill requires local election officials to create drop boxes ahead of the November general election for people who don’t trust the U.S. Postal Service to deliver their ballots in time to be counted. The legislation also allows voters who make technical errors on their ballots to correct them as long as their original ballot was cast by Oct. 31. Senate Bill 5120, and its companion measure, House Bill 5103, is a stand-alone budget bill that would take effect immediately after Gov. Ralph Northam signs it into law.

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