New Laws Go Into Effect in Virginia, Including Online Service Opt-Out, Penalty for Non-Consensual Sexting, Repeal of Switchblade Ban, and Anti-Hazing Bill

New laws took effect in Virginia on Friday, including high-profile legislation like the FY 2023-2024 budget, bills aimed at preventing animal cruelty, a bill requiring schools to notify parents about sexually explicit instructional material, and a bill requiring school principals to report misdemeanors to law enforcement.

Read More

Court Allows Envigo to Complete Contracts for Dogs Amid Ongoing Federal Lawsuit

U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon granted beagle-breeder-for-testing Envigo a partial win on Friday, allowing the facility to complete contracts for more than 500 dogs while a Department of Justice lawsuit against the Cumberland facility proceeds.

“Those dogs have been abused, and the right thing to do would be to let them be adopted and have a loving home like those who have been adopted,” Senator Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) told The Virginia Star.

Read More

Youngkin Budget Amendments Include Gas Tax Holiday, Ban on Taxpayer-Funded Abortions, and Law Against Picketing Justices

Governor Glenn Youngkin is sending 35 budget amendments to the General Assembly to approve on Friday, including a gas tax holiday, a ban on using state Medicaid funds for some abortions, and a law that would make it a class six felony to picket or demonstrate outside a courthouse or residences of justices and judges. The Democratic Senate is expected to block of Youngkin’s controversial changes, but eyes are on Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) to see if he’ll vote with Republicans to approve the abortion funding ban.

Read More

Senate Minority Leader Saslaw Kills Washington Commanders Stadium Negotiations After Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s Comments About January 6

A bill to create an incentive to bring the Washington Commanders NFL team to Virginia is dead after months of accumulating concerns over tax breaks, traffic, the team’s brand quality, and its controversial leadership. On Thursday, bill sponsor Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) told The Washington Post that the final issue was Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s comments about the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol.

Del Rio had tweeted about 2020’s “summer of riots,” and in followup comments recorded by NBC Washington, he said, “Businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re not gonna talk about — we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards.”

Read More

USDA Agents Raid and Seize Dogs at Beagle-Breeder-for Testing Envigo

USDA agents and other authorities raided beagle-breeder-for-testing Envigo’s Cumberland facility and seized 145 dogs that were in “acute distress” on Wednesday, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Christopher Kavanaugh.
The attorney is representing the U.S. against Envigo, alleging that the breeder is violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“In less than a year, the company has amassed over 60 citations for non-compliance with the AWA, which have affected thousands of beagles. More than half of those citations were deemed ‘critical’ or ‘direct,’ the most serious types of AWA citation,” the complaint states. ” As relevant here, a ‘critical’ noncompliance is one that has a ‘serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal[s].’ [….] A ‘direct’ noncompliance is a critical noncompliance that is having a serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal at the time of the inspection.”

Read More