Out-of-Court Settlement Reached to Provide Space for Virginia Legislators to Meet With Constituents

On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.

DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states.

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Bedford County Passes Resolution Opposing Repeal of Qualified Immunity

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors (BOS) unanimously passed a resolution repudiating efforts to repeal qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that provides extra protection to law enforcement officers from personal liability while on-duty unless they commit willful misconduct. An effort to repeal qualified immunity was defeated in the Virginia Senate during the recent special session.

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Governor Northam Signs Revised State Budget

Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s new biennial budget, according to a Wednesday press release. The budget is the product of a recent months-long Special Session held by the General Assembly and features key provisions for homeowners, children, and businesses.

“This budget gives us the tools we need to contend with the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic,” Northam said in a press release.

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Fear Drives Record Gun Sales

Virginia is setting records for gun sales this year; already the FBI has processed 617,472 firearms background checks, beating 2019’s total of 512,766.

Bob Marcus owns Bob’s Guns in Norfolk. He said the increase in sales began a year ago. “We saw it after the General Assembly turned over back in November. It started with the election, and then the General Assembly went into session. And there were threats of the so-called assault weapons ban, and other restrictions, so it continued through January, February, and into March.”

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Virginians to Decide Gerrymandering Amendment

An anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment that would change the way legislative districts are drawn in Virginia will be decided on the ballot.

The amendment is intended to prevent gerrymandering by establishing a 16-person bipartisan redistricting commission that would propose redistricting plans to the General Assembly. The General Assembly would be allowed to approve or decline the proposals, but would not be allowed to offer any amendments.

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Gov. Lee Considers Calling Special Session of Legislature to Pass Bill Giving Businesses Protection From COVID-19 Lawsuits

Gov. Bill Lee is thinking about calling the Legislature in for a special session to pass a bill to provide retroactive COVID-19 legal protection for businesses, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said.

The General Assembly ended their session on Friday without the House passing the Tennessee Recovery and Safe Harbor Act. It received 46 of 50 votes needed. House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) questioned whether the measure was legal under Tennessee’s Constitution regarding the impairment of contracts. (The Senate had approved the bill.)

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State Senator Kerry Roberts Comments on Status of Gov. Bill Lee’s Heartbeat Bill

On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) in the studio to discuss the decision-making pattern of Governor Bill Lee.

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Concerned Citizens: Leahy Takes Listener Calls and Breaks Down the Consequences of Governor Lee’s Refugee Stance

“So what the governor’s letter is going to do is make Tennessee a magnet. Tennessee will be a magnet for refugees,” host Michael Patrick Leahy told listeners Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.

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Social Justice Warriors at The Tennessean Publish Op-Ed Claiming ‘Tennessee Is a Racist State and So Is Its Legislature’

A progressive social justice warrior-community organizer has labeled the entire State of Tennessee as racist with the aid of The Tennessean, which ran her ranting op-ed Wednesday. Aftyn Behn describes herself as the statewide organizer of Indivisible for Tennessee and Kentucky. Her op-ed blaming the state – especially the General…

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North Carolina House Elections Committee Chairs Announced

North Carolina’s Speaker of the House Tim Moore has announced the appointment of State Representatives Holly Grange (R-D20) and Destin Hall (R-D87l) as co-chairs of the North Carolina House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law. “These two House members have a strong legal background and will be an integral part…

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Kasich Vetoes Bill Expanding Benefits for Families of Fallen First Responders

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) vetoed a bill Friday that would expand benefits for widows and children of deceased first responders because it also included legislative pay raises. According to The Dayton Daily News, Senate Bill 296 included a provision that would increase pay for lawmakers by 4 percent in…

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Tennessee Firearms Association Blisters Republican-led Legislature For ‘Pitiful’ 2nd Amendment Protections

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The recently ended legislative year in Nashville was “pitiful” in terms of protecting gun rights, a state firearms advocacy group says in a report. The “Tennessee Firearms Association 2018 Legislative Report and Review” takes the Republican super-majority in the General Assembly to task on 15 new laws and/or amendments to…

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