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Virginia becomes first southern state to pass sweeping LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill

March 6, 2020News Clip

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, recalled his first visit to the General Assembly about 30 years ago to lobby for gay rights.

 

“Very few lawmakers came out of their offices to meet with us, and I don’t think it made a difference — at least at that time,” he said. “Now we have five members of the LGBT caucus, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago.”

 

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Voters In Virginia May No Longer Need To Carry Photo IDs

March 6, 2020News Clip

Voters in Virginia may no longer have to carry a photo ID with them when they go to the polls.

On Tuesday, the Virginia state Senate voted 21-19 to pass a bill from Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) that would repeal current voter ID requirements.

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Bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana advances in Va. Senate

March 6, 2020News Clip

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- The Virginia Senate advanced a bill that would decriminalize possession of marijuana.

SB2 would decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana in Virginia and the Virginia Senate advanced the bill to the Finance Committee on Wednesday.

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More than 30 Va. employers send letter to lawmakers asking for LGBTQ protections

March 6, 2020News Clip

More than 30 Virginia employers — including Altria Group Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Capital One Financial Corp. and Dominion Energy — on Monday sent a letter to Virginia lawmakers asking for comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) nondiscrimination protections.

The letter addressed to House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, and Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw, D-Falls Church, states that employees, their families and customers deserve equal opportunities at work and in daily life.

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Virginia prisons budget $2.10 per inmate per day for food (and more notes from the DOC’s proposed spending plan)

March 6, 2020News Clip

It was an offhand question, for sure. But during an early morning briefing by the Virginia Department of Corrections, Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, recalled eating the food served to inmates at Red Onion State Prison during a site visit to the Southwestern Virginia supermax facility several years ago.

How much, he asked, does the department spend feeding the men and women under its care?

The answer: $2.10 per day.

“Just as a comment,” he said, “we are thrifty with what we fund this agency, but for $2.10 a day, the food is not close to gourmet. It’s quite far.”

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LBGT bills clear Virginia Senate and head to a friendly House of Delegates

March 6, 2020News Clip

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a host of LGBT rights bills as Democrats continued to flex their new power in the Capitol.

The Senate voted to ban conversion therapy on children, repeal the state’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage and establish statewide policies for the treatment of transgender students. The chamber also voted to replace “husband and wife” with gender-neutral “parties to the marriage” language in divorce law and make it easier for transgender people to change how their sex is listed on their birth certificates.

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Plastic Bags Could Be Banned In Maryland, Taxed In Virginia

March 6, 2020News Clip

When plastic bags first appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, they were not only cheaper, but they were supposed to be better for the environment: Plastic doesn’t require cutting down trees, and it takes less water and energy to manufacture.

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Advocates hope LGBTQ protections pass with new Virginia leadership

March 6, 2020News Clip

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) — Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, introduced Friday SB 868, called the “Virginia Values Act” which would amend existing nondiscrimination laws to extend protections for the state’s LGBTQ residents. While protection from discimination against race, religion, age and disability, among other demographics, already exist under Virginia law, the proposed bill seeks to include the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

 

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Virginia Democrats Unveil Ambitious Agenda For General Assembly

March 6, 2020News Clip

Virginia’s General Assembly opens Wednesday with a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion and a Democratic majority in both houses for the first time in more than two decades.

Lawmakers say they have a mandate to enact dramatic change on voting rights, guns, the environment, minimum wage and protections for the LGBTQ community — and they have just 60 days to get that agenda passed.

“Virginians spoke loud and clear on Election Day,” incoming House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said Tuesday. “They came out in record numbers, as you all well know, and they told us they want action.”

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VIRGINIA LGBTQ ADVOCATES HOPING FOR BIG GAINS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIS YEAR

March 6, 2020News Clip

For the first time in over a generation, Democrats control both houses of the General Assembly, and advocates are working to ensure that this has positive results for Virginia’s LGBTQ community.

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