VA News Digest 1/27 to 2/2/20

VA News Digest 1/27 to 2/2/20

Summary

Clockwise from upper left:
“Speaker Eileen Filler-corn addresses 2020 House of Delegates” –  WAVY TV  on Jan.8, 2020

“Absent timely federal vaping regulation, Virginia and other states cobble together a regulatory patchwork” – Bob Lewis, Virginia Mercury

“Setting a deadline for farm conservation practices would be a major step for Virginia water quality” -Matt Kowalski

“Va. has 5 U.S. House rookies. Here’s how they spent their first year.” – Robin Bravender, Virginia Mercury

Article summaries and Speaker Filler-Corn video inside this post.

Federal

Va. has 5 U.S. House rookies. Here’s how they spent their first year.
By: Robin Bravender
Virginia Mercury – January 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — Nearly half of Virginia’s U.S. House members are freshmen, hoping this year won’t be their last in Congress.

Five of the state’s 11 representatives in the U.S. House are serving their first term, and four of them are expected to face competitive reelection races in November. They’ve all spent their first year in office attempting to advance their pet issues, build up their campaign coffers and get face time with voters back in their districts.

The closest race this fall could be for the seat now held by Rep. Elaine Luria, who might face off against the same GOP lawmaker she unseated in 2018. But freshmen Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton could also have close races, as could Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman.

State Legislature

Speaker Eileen Filler-corn addresses 2020 House of Delegates
WAVY TV – January 8, 2020

Issues

Farm Conservation

Setting a deadline for farm conservation practices would be a major step for Virginia water quality
By: Matt Kowalski
January 29, 2020

As a restoration scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, I’m often out in the field with Virginia farmers putting projects on the ground that benefit both stream health and farm operations. I also follow state policy in Richmond that could lead to more conservation practices on farms.

Legislation proposed in the General Assembly would be a big step forward for this work. Lawmakers are considering setting a 2026 deadline for farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to fence cattle out of all permanent streams and develop nutrient management plans to avoid overapplying fertilizer. Agricultural practices like these are some of the most cost-effective ways to restore local and downstream waters.

Health

Virginia lawmakers vote to repeal mandatory ultrasound, waiting period for abortion
By: Ned Oliver
Virginia Mercury – January 29, 2020

New Democratic majorities in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate voted this week to roll back abortion restrictions the GOP put in place in 2012 mandating an ultra-sound and 24-hour waiting period.

“These restrictions were not designed to protect women, but rather to suppress their ability to make their own choices regarding their bodies,” said House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, who carried the legislation in the House. “This bill concerns an incredibly important decision that should be left up to a woman and her healthcare provider.”

Absent timely federal vaping regulation, Virginia and other states cobble together a regulatory patchwork
By: Bob Lewis
Virginia Mercury – January 27, 2020

As the summer of 2019 gave way to autumn, a health crisis that had festered for years became frightful front-page news: children were falling gravely ill and even dying as a result of vaping, a smoke-free option once marketed as a lifesaving choice for smokers.

But it quickly became the rage among teens, practiced by one high schooler in four. It seemed harmless enough – water vapor without the tar and known carcinogens yielded by incinerating tobacco. And the industry embraced its youthful users, enticing them with such yummy flavorings as butterscotch, mango and cinnamon roll to deliver sometimes massive jolts of highly addictive nicotine.

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