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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Virginia's Senate has passed a bill that would write into law executive orders by the past two governors that ban bias in the state work force based on sexual orientation. Sen. Don McEachin's bill advanced from the Democratic-controlled Senate on a nearly party line vote of 23-17.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Senate has passed a bill to ban talking on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device. Sen. Thomas Norment's bill passed the Senate 25-15 Monday. It would phase in penalties for drivers who take their hands off the wheel to hold a cell phone.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Two stimulus grants totaling $21.5 million have been awarded to expand broadband infrastructure in Virginia. The matching grants were announced Monday by U.S. Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner and Reps. Tom Perriello and Rick Boucher.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Efforts to divert funds received from possible offshore drilling for oil and gas off Virginia's coast are moving forward in the General Assembly. The House passed a bill proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday to divert 70 percent of the revenues to transportation, 20 percent to energy research and 10 percent to localities.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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