Today was a big day for Senator Henry Marsh. The legislator of twenty years took a rare day off during the Virginia Senate’s 46-day session, to attend President Barack Obama’s second-term inauguration in Washington D.C. For the 79-year-old black civil rights lawyer, attending a black president’s inauguration on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday is perhaps […]
Near the top of my wish this for next month’s General Assembly session is a law explicitly authorizing citizens to videotape, photograph, and record audio of police officers in the line of duty. In the current issue of Reason, Radley Balko makes a powerful case for why this is important. In theory, this is the […]
I’m really worried about how redistricting is going to happen. It strikes me as enormously likely that House Republicans and Senate Democrats will go into their respective huddles, and emerge with new district lines that will be voted on immediately. I fully anticipate that the first time that we see these lines will be when […]
A tag cloud of the 139 bills prefiled for the 2010 General Assembly session thus far: automobile bond bristol budget business calendar car charter children college commendation commerce committee concealed congress constitution constitutional amendment court crime custody death dillon rule disability divorce duffield education election elections electricity employment energy finance fire firearm governor gun handgn […]
Shaun Kenney agrees that our current legislative model isn’t working—as I wrote about recently—but proposes basically the opposite solutions as I: shorter sessions and no pay. It’s sort of the opposite of the free market approach. Shaun also coins the phrase “argumentum ad Jeffersoniam,” which I intend to repeat long and often enough that I […]
Delegate Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News) is in a lot of trouble for ethics violations, and rightly so. FOIAd e-mailed records show that Hamilton had Old Dominion University hire him as a consultant, using funding he’d allocated from the state budget, contingent on the earmark going through. Basically, he put in an earmark for himself, funneling […]
The more time that I spend mapping the social relationships of legislators via their copatroning habits, the more fascinated that I am by this mechanism of exploring the General Assembly. It really is a powerful tool. (To see one of the ways I’m using it on Richmond Sunlight now, check out HB1721, SB1436, or HB2482, […]
I crunched the numbers on the collective partisanship of Republican and Democrats in the Virginia House and Senate, and I think that the results are really interesting, insofar as they support the perception that House Republicans are much farther to the right than House Democrats are to the left and that Senate Republicans are closer […]
Del. Kris Amundson highlights the virtue of the General Assembly being in session on holidays: It’s possible for people to visit. (Though, obviously, it depends on the holiday. Outside of car sales, I’m not sure there’s much happening on President’s Day.) If I’d had the day off, I know I would have gone today.
Sen. Mark Obenshain is trying to criminalize miscarriages. Old-timers in the Virginia political blogosphere may remember when Del. John Cosgrove tried this in 2005. That was hoot. Maura Keaney had him on Nightline within days. Cosgrove had some cock-and-bull story about how the bill didn’t do that at all, accusing bloggers of making it all […]
I’m looking for a legislative aide to interview for Richmond Sunlight. If you’re an LA and you’re willing to take 20 minutes for a quick, simple e-mail interview, would you contact me?
There’s great news from the legislature today—the House Republican Caucus has OKd the broadcast of video and audio from floor sessions. Better still, the General Assembly’s tech staff is going to have the infrastructure up and running in time for this session, providing both audio and video. They’ve got the capacity to serve video to […]
Fun fact: of the 1,177 floor votes held in the General Assembly last year, 321 were unanimous, and 887 had at most very light opposition. Just 25 votes were seriously contested, by which I mean the final vote was within 5% of 50%. The legislature is, in a lot of ways, a pretty boring place.
House Republicans in the General Assembly have assented to end their practice of holding secret subcommittee votes to kill bills, which they’ve used to kill hundreds (perhaps thousands) of bills in the past few years. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together thought it was a good idea. This practice that would have been […]
Under new rules of the House of Delegates, effect come January’s session, they’ve limited their members to introducing 15 bills per person, 10 pre-filed and 5 after the session begins. Assuming that delegates remain within their self-enforced rules, compare last year’s 2,234 bills to a maximum of 1,500 this time around. That’s a 33% drop […]
From the latest RPV newsletter: We are well positioned to have a sweep of statewide offices and expand our majority in the House of Delegates. And, make no mistake, redistricting is on the ballot. Our ability to protect and expand our numbers for the next decade hangs in the balance. If House Republicans had a […]
The Virginia House Democratic Caucus has a great-looking new site (at least, I’ve never seen it before, so I assume it’s new), complete with a new podcast series.
Del. Bob Marshall is just taking his annual torrent of useless, not-a-chance-in-hell bills and refiling them with vague references to transportation as a part of this special transportation session of the General Assembly. His bill to consolidate the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum of Virginia didn’t even get out of committee […]
Well, ain’t this interesting? H. Morgan Griffith has joined the law firm Albo & Oblon, L.L.P. as a Partner. He will be Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s new Roanoke/Salem office. Initially, he will be one of two lawyers at that office. He will continue his practice of criminal and civil litigation. That’s from a press release […]