WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Voters To Decide Fate of Amendment On Religious Holidays

Play associated audio
A referendum on the Virginia ballot would let lawmakers delay veto sessions so they don't coincide with Passover.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thruhike98/2047207259/
A referendum on the Virginia ballot would let lawmakers delay veto sessions so they don't coincide with Passover.

Voters in Virginia are about to decide the fate of a constitutional amendment that will determine when the General Assembly can call a "veto session," which is when the legislature responds to the governor's vetoes for that year.

According to the Virginia constitution, legislators have to reconvene on the sixth Wednesday after the session for a veto session, when they consider how to respond to the governor's vetoes. The problem for Jewish legislators such as Sen. Adam Ebbin, is that the session frequently coincides with Passover.

"For Jews, it's an important holiday, and every member of the General Assembly should be able to practice their religion," says Ebbin. "One year I was sitting with one of my Jewish colleagues on Passover, and we were unable to observe Passover."

Jewish legislators are often caught in the middle: do they observe their holiday or represent their constituents? Enter Question 2, the ballot initiative that voters will decide on Election Day. The language of the amendment doesn't say anything about religious holidays, but it does give the General Assembly the ability to delay the veto session by a week.

"It gives the General Assembly flexibility to schedule a session so that the maximum number of legislators can attend," says Del. Scott Surovell. 

The amendment has no opposition and is expected to pass.

NPR

For Carl Phillips, Poetry Is Experience Transformed — Not Transcribed

Phillips' new collection is both raw and refined, drawing on intimate experience while shunning autobiography. "I become uncomfortable when people make an equation between author and poem," he says.
NPR

#NPRreads: Middle East Air Quality, Lead Poisoning, And Jell-O

Around the newsroom and around the world, here's what we're reading this week.
NPR

Donald Trump In 9 Quotes And 200 Seconds

Trump took his act on the road to Tennessee, where he thrilled a conservative audience with an off-the-cuff routine that bordered on stand-up comedy.
NPR

No More Standing By The Spigot: Messaging App Alerts Water Availability

A startup in India — where an aging, ad hoc system limits water availability — is using text messages to let people know when their faucets should work, so they don't waste hours awaiting the deluge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.