General Assembly at a glance


Gun-show loophole bill shot down
A version of the gun-show loophole bill was shot down 12-9 Friday by a House committee, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The bills approval would have made background checks on gun buyers required at gun shows. The bill was killed by the committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. Another version of the bill is scheduled to be heard Monday in the Senate Courts of Justice committee. 

Kaine: Drivers fees must be appealed
Gov. Tim Kaine will sign on the dotted line if an emergency repeal of the abusive- drivers fees reaches his desk, said the governors press secretary this past Thursday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports if the bill reaches Kaines desk without an emergency provision making the legislation effective immediately, Kaine will add the provision and send it back to the assembly. 

Motorcyclists to ride single-file
A bill aiming to make it legal for motorcyclists to ride side by side was struck down Tuesday in the House. Virginia and Vermont are the only states in the country that do not allow motorcyclists to ride abreast in a single lane. Supporters of the legislation said riding abreast makes motorcyclists visibility clearer, but opponents of the bill, such as Delegate Bill Carrico, R-Independence, said there was little evidence to support that theory. 

Texting while driving OK for now
A bill seeking to ban text messaging while driving was permanently referred to a commission Tuesday, ruining its chances for approval this assembly session. The bill was referred to the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, which meets between legislative sessions. The commission will further research text messaging while driving and submit its findings. The bill can then be resubmitted for consideration in the 2009 legislative session.  

Bill would ban illegal immigrants at GMU
Legislation aiming to prevent illegal immigrants from attending Virginias public universities is up for debate in the 2008 General Assembly. According to Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, Delegate Christopher K. Peace, R-Hanover, requested an informal survey about universities admission of illegal immigrants. The survey found that George Mason University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech and Radford University accept illegal immigrants.

Multimedia: At the bottom of the story is a text box showing how each committee member voted. You might highlight the legislators from your area.