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Virginia lawmakers to begin debate on 300 proposed laws on Jan. 8

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Local news sources reported on Thursday that starting Jan. 8, Virginia lawmakers will begin debating a number of bills that will surely affect everything from our pocketbooks to our beloved pets.

And speaking of pets, the proposed House Bill 212 may not be a bad idea. The bill would ban drivers from holding a pet while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Trying to keep a pet under control is probably more distracting than talking on a cell phone, shaving or anything else people do while trying to drive.

Another bill that would effect everyone that shops is one that would add a five-cent charge for every paper and plastic bag a shopkeeper gives the customer to carry home their goods. Actually, the proposed bill says the charge would go to the consumer or the retailer, but we all know where that charge will end up, tight?

Just a word further on the disposal bag bill. It is easy to see the necessity of doing something about the disposal bags, and obviously, grocery stores have been doing their best to get customers to bring back plastic bags for recycling, but more has to be done, and perhaps in debating the issue, an even better solution can be found.

House Bill 21 proposes that at least one person in every school in the Commonwealth have a concealed weapon permit, and be trained in how to handle a gun. This is a bill everyone needs to follow, because the debate may be just as explosive as the one on disposal bags. There is still a great deal of contentious debate on the guns-in-school issue, as it is.

There will also be one or more bills proposing legislation that would fill the gaps in the state's present mental health laws. This has been the center of many discussions since the tragic November incident where state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County was attacked by his son Gus, who then killed himself. Gus Deeds had been released from emergency custody just 13 hours earlier when it was alleged there were no psychiatric beds available.

For a look at some Virginia laws that really need to be repealed, if they haven't been already, check out the video accompanying this story.

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