RICHMOND – Legislation to give local school boards more leeway when it comes to expelling students is moving through the House of Delegates.
House Bill 751 would clarify that the boards don't have to expel students who bring drugs onto campus. Expulsion is the default position under current law, unless the board finds "special circumstances."
This bill gets rid of the "special circumstances" language and leaves the decision to the school board.
E-cigarette school ban advances
A bill to ban the use of electronic cigarettes at K-12 schools, on school buses and at school activities moved forward on a close vote in the House Wednesday.
House Bill 484 would ban use by anyone and possession by students. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are typically battery powered and vaporize nicotene liquid. They're becoming a common replacement for cigarettes.
The House voted with a show of hands Wednesday, and it was close in part because school systems already have the power to regulate these devices themselves.
It will take a recorded roll call vote for this bill to pass the House and move to the Senate.
East Sea/Sea of Japan Bill moves
A bill that inserts Virginia into a dispute over the name of a body of water between Japan and the Korean peninsula is ready for a vote on the House floor.
House Bill 11 cleared second reading Wedensday, a prodecural step that puts it one vote away from clearing the Houese.
It would require Virginia textbooks to note that the Sea of Japan, as the body is known in Japan, is also known as the East Sea, the name preferred by many Koreans.
The issue has drawn hundreds of Koreans, including many who live in Hampton Roads, to the legislature. The Embassy of Japan hired seven lobbyists and sent Gov. Terry McAuliffe a threatening letter on the issue.
Nearly identical legislation, Senate Bill 2, has already passed the Virginia Senate. McAuliffe has said he'll sign a bill if it gets to his desk, which seems likely.
McAuliffe signs first bill
Those waiting for Virginia to tweak its tax code and come in line with federal changes for the year to file their taxes need wait no longer.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed this annual "conformity" bill Wednesday, making it law. It's the first bill the new governor has signed.
"Obviously a lot of folks are waiting for this to be done," he said.
"I'm honored to sign my first bill," he said.
Casino bill done for year