Tommy Norment

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia GOP state senator says she won't caucus with her party anymore because of a leadership dispute.

Sen. Amanda Chase said in a recent statement that she does not support Sen. Tommy Norment's continued leadership of the caucus after Republicans lost control of the upper chamber earlier this month. Norment had led the caucus for several years and was recently picked by his Republican colleagues to continue doing so.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are set to debate and vote on whether new gun laws are needed after a gunman killed a dozen people a little more than a month ago.

Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered lawmakers to return to the Capitol Tuesday and called on them to pass a wide range of gun-control measures. The governor, a Democrat, called for "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers" after a Virginia Beach city employee shot and killed his coworkers at a municipal building on May 31

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state Senate committee has changed a major casino bill to require a study and another vote in 2020 before any casino licenses would be granted.

News outlets report the Senate Finance Committee agreed Wednesday with a plan by Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment of James City to stop any local referendums on casinos until a comprehensive study is done. The committee voted 12-4 to advance the plan, diminishing hopes of casino supporters as the legislative session approaches the halfway point.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are expected to finalize work on a state budget that a top Republican state senator says is likely to include Medicaid expansion.

The state Senate is set to meet Tuesday at the Capitol.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said last week that the Senate will pass a budget when it meets. And he said it's likely that it will include expanding Medicaid eligibility to 400,000 low-income adults.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia senators are putting off debate on the state budget and whether to expand Medicaid.

The Senate did not take up budget discussions Tuesday but instead scheduled a meeting next week for the Senate Finance Committee to take up a newly proposed budget plan.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment said he expects the upper chamber to pass a budget next week and it is "probable" that it will include Medicaid expansion.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would allow people charged for the first time with possession of marijuana to later have the charge expunged.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the vote Monday on Republican Sen. Tommy Norment's bill was 38-2.

Norment previously said he was in favor of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana but opted not to introduce a bill that went that far, saying he didn't think it could pass.

He said the bill that advanced Monday "makes a substantial step forward."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A key panel in the Virginia state House has rejected a proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the panel voted 7-1 against the measure Wednesday, likely dooming any chance of Virginia joining the growing list of states to decriminalize or legalize the drug.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is pushing legislation that would lessen penalties for a first marijuana-related offense.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker says he's working on a bill to decriminalize marijuana.
 
The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that Senate majority leader Tommy Norment does not support full legalization of the drug. But the Republican said possessing it would be a civil offense subject to a ticket or a fine.
 
Norment's comments followed the release of a State Crime Commission study that said decriminalizing marijuana would prevent more than 10,000 arrests every year in Virginia.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Crime Commission plans to study whether marijuana should be decriminalized in the Old Dominion.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the commission's executive committee agreed Wednesday to study the issue this year.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment requested the study last year.

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana have failed in past legislative sessions.

Candidates running for governor this year in both parties have called for decriminalizing the drug.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP)- In a switch, the majority leader of the Virginia state Senate says he supports studying the decriminalization of marijuana.
    
Media outlets report that Tommy Norment, one of the most powerful political leaders in the Commonwealth, announced his position Tuesday while speaking before a Norfolk City Council dinner at the Slover Library.
    
Norment said the issue should be studied by the Virginia State Crime Commission, which makes recommendations to the legislature.

He emphasized that he is for decriminalization and not legalization.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state lawmaker says the issues of African Americans in the state senate are not addressed.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Portsmouth Democratic Sen. Louise Lucas, who is African-American, criticized the Democratic leadership this week, saying there has been a disparate treatment of black lawmakers in the Virginia legislature.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has narrowly defeated a proposed private-school voucher program for disabled students.

The measure would have allowed parents of a disabled child to apply for the child's share of state funds that would otherwise go to his or her local public school system. The money could be used for tuition, fees and books at a private school.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Dave LaRock, a Loudoun County Republican, was passed by the House of Delegates 57-42 earlier this month.