GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE: A Virginia Senate committee has again killed legislation to close the so-called “gun show loophole.” Under current law, only licensed dealers are required to obtain background checks on buyers at gun shows. The proposal would have required the Virginia State Police to be available at gun shows to conduct the checks if a private seller wants one.
WELFARE DRUG SCREENING: Legislation to require drug screening of welfare recipients has failed by one vote in the Virginia Senate. The bill would have required an initial drug screening of applicants, followed by testing if officials suspected illegal drug use. Anyone testing positive could lose benefits for a year. Supporters said the bill would ensure taxpayer money isn’t supporting drug use. Opponents said it’s unfair to single out poor people.
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING: A Virginia Senate committee has endorsed legislation to toughen penalties for texting while driving. Texting while driving is a secondary offense. That means police can only write a ticket if they stop the motorist for another violation. The bill would make it a primary offense with a fine of $250.
SCHOOL GRADING SCALE: A bill which would institute an A-through-F grading system in Virginia schools has the approval of the House of Delegates. Governor Bob McDonnell applauded the measure’s progress, saying as part of his All Students K-12 Education plan, it would bring “more transparency and accountability” to the state’s public schools. The state Senate will now consider the bill.