Medicaid Expansion, Ethics Reform, Contraception Coverage and More: A Snapshot of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session

'Revenge porn,' guns at private schools and banning electronic cigarettes for minors are also on the table.

The 2014 Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday in Richmond. Patch file photo.
The 2014 Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday in Richmond. Patch file photo.
By Jason Spencer

The Virginia General Assembly convened at noon Wednesday, starting a 60-day session in which lawmakers have to deal with a laundry list of issues.

Chief among them are Medicaid expansion, ethics reform, mental health reform and ongoing budget concerns. Medicaid expansion will perhaps be the most controversial issue, as it was a key plank of Democratic Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe's platform and faces much opposition from Republicans.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell leaves office the subject of a state and federal investigation, a scandal that is expected to spark a number of attempts to reform state ethics laws.

One such bill already has been filed by state Del. Rob Krupicka, an Alexandria Democrat whose district also includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Krupicka has crafted legislation that would limit the amounts of gifts local and state officials could accept and require regular disclosures in a searchable, online database.

On the other side of the transparency effort, one bill would allow cities, towns and school boards to withhold from the public investigation records into waste, fraud or abuse.

One bill would require businesses that offer health insurance to their employees — in the case of plans that cover contraception — to offer an identical plan that does not cover contraception.

Another bill would repeal the relatively new $64 fee on hybrid electric vehicles.

Still another would make it illegal to drive less than the maximum posted speed limit in the left-most lanes on an interstate.

More on Bills Headed to the 2014 Virginia General Assembly:

Raconteur January 09, 2014 at 10:08 AM
The law says the MAXIMUM speed is XX. You will be fined, thrown in jail, etc. for going faster than that. Now, some twit says you will be fined, thrown in jail, etc. for going less than the maximum speed. Which is it? Currently, thanks to lawyers and idiot judges, the speed limit is some nebulous number (5,6,7,9?) ABOVE the speed LIMIT! I have a unique idea: Enforce the law as is. Stay right except to pass. Do not impede traffic. The speed limit IS the speed LIMIT. Want it faster? Change the speed limit.


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