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A bill that will bar Virginia public school employees from providing job recommendations to fellow employees who have sexually assaulted students landed on Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk this week for signing.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), who represents Arlington and Alexandria, said he introduced bill S.B. 605 after Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) brought the issue to his attention.

The City of Alexandria has received a $4,000 grant toward conservation of the 18th century merchant ship excavated at the site of the new Hotel Indigo, after the ship won second place in the Virginia Association of Museums' Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Competition.  The ship earned more than 5,500 votes from the public during a weeklong competition.

RICHMOND — Bills meant to protect gay and transgender people from housing and employment discrimination died in a Republican-dominated House panel Thursday, prompting jeers of “Shame!” from activists who packed a Capitol hearing room.

On a straight party-line vote, members of a General Laws subcommittee voted 5 to 2 to kill four bills, some of which had already cleared the Republican-controlled state Senate, which tends to be more socially moderate than the House.

RICHMOND — Democrats in Virginia’s House of Delegates invoked the recent school shooting in Florida to demand that Republicans revive gun-control measures that died in committee this year. But GOP leaders said it is too late in the legislative session to act.

Guns have been the one area that has resisted all compromise in a General Assembly session otherwise marked by bipartisan dealmaking. A host of bills, many of them favored by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), have disappeared in committees in the House and Senate.

RICHMOND — As the House and Senate remain divided over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to 400,000 uninsured Virginians, Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. made a rare appearance before House Republicans to say his chamber was dead set against the House plan.

In a closed-door gathering Thursday with House Republicans, Norment (R-James City) said all 21 Senate Republicans were united against expansion.

Last Friday, January 26, the Senate of Virginia took a step in the right direction. In a floor vote, the Senate passed SB 202, which will ban discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

A Virginia Senate committee overwhelmingly approved two bills that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people in the commonwealth, setting up a floor vote in the coming days.

The Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology voted 12-3 to send both nondiscrimination measures out of committee and to the floor, where the bill can then be voted upon by the full Senate.

RICHMOND – State government could not ask most job seekers criminal history questions on employment applications under a bill passed last week by the Virginia Senate.

The Senate approved the “ban the box” bill Friday on a 23-16 vote. All of the Democrats in the Senate voted for SB 252; they were joined by four Republicans.

Until recently, job application forms used by state agencies included a box that asked whether the applicant had ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime.

THE EARLY governors in Virginia were chosen by the General Assembly, and not by the commonwealth’s voters. It wasn’t until after the Constitution of 1851 that the legislature turned over that duty to residents.

Even then, the General Assembly’s loosening of the reins only went so far — the governor’s tenure was limited to a single four-year term.

The Virginia Senate’s General Laws Committee on Monday approved two bills that would ban discrimination in public employment and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The committee approved Senate Bill 202,which would ban discrimination against LGBT state employees, by a 12-3 vote margin. Senate Bill 423, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Fair Housing Law, passed by the same margin.