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:
- Still DREAMing: Bill Would Allow Undocumented Students to Receive In-State Tuition
- In Wake of McDonnell Scandal, Bill Aims to Limit Gifts, Increase Disclosures
- Bill Would Allow Guns at Private Schools
- Ban the Box: Bill Would Ax Criminal Background Questions on Job Applications
- Decriminalizing Suicide: Bills Aims to Focus Conversation on Mental Health
- E-Cig Ban for Minors Headed to Virginia House of Delegates
- Bill Would Outlaw 'Revenge Porn' in Virginia
- Bill Would Ban Guns for Stalkers, Domestic Abusers