Virginia General Assembly

Wednesday Notes: Stewart unveils ad, Portsmouth family pleads for mental health bill

Chairman Corey Stewart, outspoken conservative from mostly blue Prince William County, a suburb of D.C., will be at inauguration on Friday. He’ll also be on your screen if you watch the events on Fox News. Stewart, republican gubernatorial candidate, has purchased a 30 second spot for the first political ad of the season.

The ad doesn’t tie Stewart to Trump, despite him running his own campaign on Trumpisms – beating democrats, promoting jobs, and deporting “illegals.” Also, Stewart was Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman until October when he was let go due to his participation in an authorized protest.

corey_stewart_9925936123_2
Stewart in 2013

Republicans Ed Gillespie, Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), and Denver Riggleman face Stewart for the nomination.

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In Richmond today, the family of a Portsmouth, Va. man who died in a jail cell pleaded lawmakers to make mental health assistance a priority this session. Aunt of Jamycheal Mitchell said, “No young man should spend four months in jail for stealing a candy bar and soda.”

Her nephew suffered intense weight loss and cardiac problems after spending over 100 days in his cell while waiting for a mental health bed, which never happened due to clerical errors. He was in jail for stealing $5 in snacks from a 7-11 convenience store. A number of bills have been introduced this session to tackle mental health issues, some with an emphasis on inmate mental health problems.

HB1904 (Steve Heretick, D-Portsmouth) was killed by  voice vote yesterday. The legislation, a talking point of last week’s State of the Commonwealth address, fell short in the Privileges and Elections subcommittee. HB1428 (Hyland Fowler, Jr. R-Glen Allen) was referred to the Committee on Appropriations shortly after, allowing for the requirement of a photo identification attached to mailed absentee ballots.

Tomorrow, Gov. McAuliffe is scheduled to speak at the Women’s Health Care Caucus press conference in Richmond at 9 a.m.

 

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