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Opinion: Editorial: ‘My Hopes Have Already Been Dashed’
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Opinion: Editorial: ‘My Hopes Have Already Been Dashed’

Current General Assembly session generates frustrations.

There were big changes in the Virginia House of Delegates after last year’s elections, but Democrats fell one coin flip (actually name out of a hat) short of controlling the legislative body.

No doubt the electoral swing delivered one of the most important changes in recent history, the expansion of Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of Virginians who had previously lived without health coverage.

But as Del. Ken Plum (D-36) wrote in his column this week: “In light of the last election for House seats, I approached this legislative session with the hope that there might be more flexibility in the House leadership that might result in the consideration of bills that had been summarily defeated in past sessions. My hopes have already been dashed.”

A groundswell of public support for Virginia being the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment led to the Senate passing a resolution for ratification.

The subcommittee of the House Privileges and Election Committee Tuesday morning defeated a resolution to ratify the Equal Right Amendment on a vote of 4 to 2. Four members of the House are blocking a vote by the 100 members of the House.

“A major struggle seems to be looming between the two houses on the ERA which might need to be resolved by the voters at election time,” Plum wrote.

Yes, that time is November, with primary voting likely in June.

The question of nonpartisan redistricting is too important to leave until after the next election.

The Senate has passed a bill to establish such a process while House leadership is expressing opposition. Since the legislation is a constitutional amendment, it is important that a resolution be passed this year and next to go to a popular referendum in 2020 in time for redistricting after the 2020 census results are known.

Be Part of the Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish the last week of February, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Friday, Feb. 22.

We invite you to send stories about your pets, photos of you and your family with your cats, dogs, llamas, alpacas, ponies, hamsters, snakes, lizards, frogs, rabbits, or whatever other creatures share your life with you.

Tell us the story of a special bond between a child and a dog, the story of how you came to adopt your pet, or examples of amazing feats of your creatures.

Do you volunteer at an animal shelter or therapeutic riding center or take your pet to visit people in a nursing home? Does your business have a managing pet? Is your business about pets? Have you helped to train an assistance dog? Do you or someone in your family depend on an assistance dog?

Or take this opportunity to memorialize a beloved pet you have lost.

Just a cute photo is fine too. Our favorite pictures include both pets and humans.

Please tell us a little bit about your creature, identify everyone in the photo, give a brief description what is happening in the photo, and include address and phone number (we will not publish your address or phone number, just your town name).

Email to editors@connectionnewspapers.com or submit online at www.connectionnewspapers.com/pets.

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— Mary Kimm

mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com