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Anticipated Homestead Exemption Bill Moves to Full Senate

Senators Relax Immigration Bills

Senators have begun chipping away at House-passed legislation that targets illegal immigrants, watering down or killing bills that would require proof of citizenship for name changes or marriage license applications.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 8 to 7 on Monday in favor of a bill by Del. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) to require proof of Virginia residence for a name change. The legislation originally would have required proof of citizenship.

A measure by Del. Edward T. Scott (R-Madison) to put in Virginia law a federal statute requiring court clerks to record the Social Security numbers of those applying for a marriage license failed on a 7 to 8 vote.

-- Associated Press

Concealed-Weapons Bill Advances

Bills championed by gun rights advocates that could result in more concealed firearms in restaurants, bars and vehicle glove boxes have been endorsed by a House of Delegates committee.

One bill would allow people who hold permits for concealed weapons to carry hidden guns in restaurants or clubs but would prohibit them from drinking alcohol while doing so. Current law allows guns in such establishments only if they are visible.

The other measure would allow people who do not have a concealed weapons permit to transport handguns in a locked glove box or other interior compartment of a vehicle rather than carry them in plain view, as the law now requires.

Both bills have cleared the Senate and will be up for a vote on the House floor this week. Even if they are passed, however, gubernatorial vetoes seem likely.

-- Associated Press

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