Transparency News, 1/13/21


 January 13, 2021
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state & local news stories

New bills have been added to VCOG's bill chart, including a reworked version of the bill introduced during the special session to provide some measure of access to previously closed criminal investigative case files. Another imposes various transparency requirements on the newly formed redistricting commission and its processes. Likewise, another imposes transparency requirements on university boards of visitors.
Follow along on our bill chart. We will also be posting quick overviews of some bills on our Facebook page. Stay tuned!

The House of Delegates held a civic engagement demonstration yesterday. They now suggest that instead of following the Legislative Information System's general meetings and committee listing, you follow (for the House only) this website:

At this site, you can click on a committee or meeting, the bills in that committee, and then the bill itself to offer in-person, remote comments or to submit written comments. 

They also announced that House committee meetings would be limited to two hours.

The House video streaming page does not currently have meetings listed and it's unclear whether it will going forward. For instance, yesterday's presentation does not appear on the archive.

On the Senate side, according to a story in The Virginian-Pilot, a hotline will be operated for people to leave recorded messages about their thoughts on legislation. The hotline will be operating only Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (2 p.m. on Friday), which is when most people work and may not have the chance to call into the numbers (just saying....)

I know it's confusing. The LIS site is rich with information about legislation. The General Assembly website, though, and the House-specific site, are cluttered, confusing and often out of date. I'll try to keep up and pass on what I learn.


The Portsmouth City Council voted to hire Danny Meeks — a former councilman who lost a bid for mayor in November — as city manager Tuesday night. After a few minutes of discussion in a closed session, the council took its vote back. The members who initially voted for Meeks did not rescind their support. Meeks had not applied to be city manager, so his supporters on the council voted to re-open the job application portal until Jan. 20. Hiring a city manager, essentially the CEO of the city government, was not on the council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
The Virginian-Pilot

Norfolk’s City Council has selected Danica Royster, a 31-year-old financial advisor from Lambert’s Point, to fill the open Superward 7 seat. The council interviewed three candidates during a livestreamed work session on Tuesday afternoon.
The Virginian-Pilot