Local lawmakers react to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to ban abortions after 15 weeks
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has tapped four Republican lawmakers to draft new legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy: Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Delegate Margaret Ransone, plus local lawmakers Delegate Kathy Byron and Senator Steve Newman.
‘Tragedy from the beginning to the end’: Virginia senator calls for investigation on parole board
Republican State Senator Steve Newman is expressing frustration over the Virginia Parole Board. In a post on Facebook Wednesday, Newman talks about a previously leaked email chain that allegedly shows a conversation between the former parole board chairwoman and a board employee. This week, Jennifer Moschetti, a state investigator working on the probe into the parole board was fired. For privacy reasons, OSIG cannot comment on personnel matters and investigations.”10 News also reached out to Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea, who serves on the parole board. He said the Code of Virginia prohibits him from talking about matters related to parole.
General Assembly wraps day two with focus on coronavirus, classroom safety
RICHMOND, Va. – Day two of the regular session for the General Assembly wrapped up on Thursday, and lawmakers are already hitting some hot-button issues in committees. As 10 News has reported, the house is meeting virtually while the senate is in-person with strict social distancing measures in place. Make sure there’s adequate funding for the schools, to make sure￼ the roofs are well taken care of,” said Edwards. Sen. Steve Newman, R, Lynchburg said the need for in-person learning is great. The session is set to last 30 days but may be extended to 45 days to allow more time to deal with the budget.
General Assembly reconvenes on somber note after losing senator to COVID-19 complications
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia lawmakers are back at work, as the General Assembly reconvened Wednesday afternoon amid threats of violence in the coming days at the state capitol in Richmond. As with the special session last fall, the House is meeting virtually, while the Senate is meeting at the Science Museum of Virginia. It was a somber start to the regular session Wednesday morning, as lawmakers honored the life of senator Ben Chafin, who died earlier this month after contracting COVID-19. [Date set for special election to fill seat of late Virginia Senator Ben Chafin]Each senator laid a rose on a desk draped in black to honor the late senator from southwest Virginia. Losing a colleague to COVID-19 added importance to the issue that’s top of mind for lawmakers right now.
State lawmakers urge peace in Richmond amidst threats of possible violence
RICHMOND, Va. – With nationwide threats of violence at state capitals in the days ahead, Richmond is on alert and state lawmakers are sending a message. “I’m really ticked off about it, that the way to try and get what you want is to act in violence,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 12th District, which covers Giles County and Radford, as well as parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties. Kathy Byron, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 22nd District, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin counties, as well as part of Lynchburg. Sam Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of Roanoke.
Coronavirus relief top of mind for local lawmakers as General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday
RICHMOND, Va. – The General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for a regular session that will look a little different because of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus is not only dictating those circumstances but dominating the conversation for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. All four local representatives 10 News spoke with Tuesday agree that the coronavirus is top of mind; however, they differ on where to focus. Kathy Byron, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 22nd District, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin counties, as well as part of Lynchburg. Sam Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of Roanoke.
‘The governor overstepped’: Republican lawmaker reacts to Virginia’s new COVID-19 restrictions
ROANOKE, Va. – Some Republican lawmakers in Virginia are speaking out against Governor Ralph Northam’s new COVID-19 restrictions. [Modified stay-at-home order, stricter mask mandate and new gathering restrictions start in Virginia on Monday]Senator Steve Newman, who represents the Lynchburg area, said the new curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. limits people’s rights. Newman is also concerned about the continued restrictions small businesses face amid the pandemic. “Actually, bringing in a curfew is an item that is a tool of martial law and I really think it brings Virginia to a new step, so overall I think the governor overstepped,” Newman saidThe new restrictions also limit gatherings from groups of 25 people to ten.
Virginia House passes bill heavily regulating assault weapons
Richmond, Va. – A version of the controversial assault weapons ban passed one house in the Virginia legislature Tuesday. In another sign of the heated gun rights debate, the Democratic-backed House Bill 961 narrowly passed the House of Delegates by a 51-48 vote, which came on Crossover Day -- the final day for each house to pass or reject its own bills. Under the bill: “It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, or purchase an assault firearm.” The legislation would make a violation a Class 6 felony. “'Large-capacity firearm magazine’ means any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 12 rounds of ammunition." Under the bill, before Jan. 1, 2021, anyone with an illegal magazine must do one of the following.
Public weighs in on both sides of gun debate before State Crime Commission
RICHMOND, Va. - Dozens of members of the public stated their case either for or against bills meant to prevent gun violence Tuesday afternoon in Richmond. It was the second day of hearings for the State Crime Commission, whose leaders said is on track to give recommendations on specific gun control and gun safety bills to the full legislature on Nov. 18. Last month, Republicans abruptly ended the Democratic-called special session on gun violence, sending dozens of bills -- both Democratic and Republican -- to the commission to be vetted. Gun-reform supporters said the amount of gun violence in Virginia means the commonwealth needs to tighten its laws. Gun rights supporters opposed those views, in part, by voicing concerns about due process in those cases.
Republicans execute secret plan to end gun control special session
RICHMOND, Va. - Gun law discussions in Virginia are now on hold after Republicans called off Tuesday's special legislative session, which Democrats scheduled to respond to May's Virginia Beach shooting. Republicans used their power in the General Assembly to put the discussions on hold until at least November. What was expected to be a showdown in Richmond between Democrats pushing for gun control and Republicans fighting back ended after less than two hours. Republicans have the majority in the General Assembly and they voted to send the bills to the Virginia State Crime Commission, which has six Republican members and only three Democrats. Sen. Steve Newman, a Republican leader representing the Lynchburg area, said ending the discussion was their plan all along, but they kept it a secret until now.