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VPM Daily Newscast: February 16, 2022

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.        

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Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Wednesday, February 16, 2022 

Adults could buy weed legally by September, if bill continues to get support in the Virginia General Assembly 
Reported by VPM News’ Ben Paviour 

Adults in Virginia will be able to buy cannabis in September under legislation passed by the state Senate yesterday. Three companies currently control Virginia’s medical marijuana market. They’ll be able to sell to all adults beginning September 15th under a bill from Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin. Up to ten industrial hemp processors will also be able to begin sales then too. The bill still needs to make it through the House of Delegates, where Republican-controlled committees have so far avoided taking up the issue. 

Gov. Youngkin amends bill that allows parents to opt-out students from mask mandates 
Reported by VPM News’ Sara McCloskey  

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has made  a few changes to a bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of wearing facemasks at school.Youngkin plans to require school districts to get rid of mask mandates by March 1, 2022. His changes to the bill also clarify a governor’s authority to act during a public health emergency. While  this legislation has already passed both the state Senate and House of Delegates, a majority of lawmakers still need to approve Youngkin’s changes before it becomes law.  

Citizen pollution control boards could lose authority under new legislation 
Reported by VPM News' Patrick Larsen 

The House of Delegates and state Senate have both accepted bills that would change how state pollution control boards operate. If passed, the citizen boards would lose final say on permits for projects and facilities that pollute air and water. Republican Senator Richard Stuart sponsored one of the bills, which has been heavily edited to maintain public input on controversial permits. It would also hand permitting power over to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the agency responsible for drafting permits with businesses.

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