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“Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been the ranking state official for less than a week, though he has already issued several executive orders on topics that included workplace discrimination and executive gifts.

His first executive order — signed Saturday, immediately following his inauguration — prohibits discrimination in Virginia state government on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation or against otherwise qualified people with disabilities.

“My administration is committed to keeping Virginia open and welcoming to all who call our Commonwealth home,” McAuliffe (D) said in a news release issued after the order was signed. “Executive Order Number 1 sets the tone for an administration that will not accept discrimination in any form, and one that will work tirelessly to ensure all Virginians have equal opportunity in the workplace, no matter their backgrounds, race, religion, or whom they love.”

The order brings back protection for sexual orientation and gender identity that existed during Tim Kaine’s years as governor. When Bob McDonnell was elected to office, he issued an executive order authorizing protections for several categories, though sexual orientation and gender identity were not included. He later issued another executive order that said “employment discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated by this Administration.”



Originally posted by Williamsburg Yorktown Daily. Read the full story at


“State officials will dig deeper into the backgrounds of child care workers in Georgia starting January 1st.

That’s when a new law takes effect mandating federal fingerprint background checks for all employees of licensed child care facilities, though it initially applies just to new workers. Existing employees have until 2017 before they are required to have the deeper investigation.

“It’s two keys: first is, we know that the person who we’re checking the record on is actually the person who is seeking employment, and secondly, it is the national perspective,” said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning. “So you don’t have people who have committed a serious crime that would prohibit them from employment coming from another state, locating here, and us being limited to the crimes that they may have committed in the state of Georgia.”

“The eye-opener happened in the past year,” said Carolyn Salvador, executive director of the Georgia Child Care Association, an advocacy and trade group that helped draft the new law. “We actually did have an incident in our state where there was someone who came up from Florida who knew how to work the system.

“They had a criminal background in Florida and it wasn’t picked up on the regular state check,” she said.

Currently, workers must pass a check of state records using their name and date of birth.

“All of our neighboring states were actually using fingerprint background checks for their employees,” Salvador said. “We didn’t want to be that state that child-care workers flock to that had those criminal backgrounds. We didn’t want to be that hole in the middle.”

Cagle said the new requirement is the most important piece of child-safety legislation Georgia lawmakers have passed in at least a decade. The law also requires a new background check every five years.”



Originally posted by GPB News and can be viewed at

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