This Year’s Lee-Jackson Day Might Be the Last

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Friday is a state holiday, Lee-Jackson Day, honoring Confederate leaders. But, this year may be the last one it’s on the calendar. Michael Pope reports.

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“Credible Threats” Lead to Emergency Declaration, Weapons Ban Ahead of Rally

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Governor Ralph Northam, along with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and other state officials, announce security the security plans. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Governor Ralph Northam is declaring a state of emergency in advance of rallies planned for the state capitol Monday.

Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia General Assembly Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment

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Advocates and lawmakers celebrate passage of the ERA outside the House of Delegates Chamber. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

In a series of votes Wednesday, Virginia approved resolutions to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

That means enough states have now approved the measure guaranteeing gender equality to enshrine it in the U. S. Constitution. But more legal battles are likely ahead. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Business Groups Are Lining Up Against Democratic Efforts to Help Virginia Workers

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Business leaders from across Virginia appear at a press conference announcing united opposition to raising the minimum wage, mandating paid family leave and overturning the right-to-work law. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Democrats in the General Assembly are planning to move forward with a number of bills designed to help workers. But, those efforts will have serious opposition. Michael Pope reports.

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Redistricting Reform May Divide Virginia’s New Democratic Majority

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Democrats may have taken control of the General Assembly, but that doesn’t mean they are all in agreement about how to handle several of the most-pressing issues. Michael Pope reports one of those disagreements is over gerrymandering.

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Coleman’s Effort to Correct the Narrative Moves to Earlier Time Period

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Christy Coleman (Credit: Kim Brundage/Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

Christy Coleman steps down as CEO of the American Civil War Museum this week, but she’s not closing the book on Virginia’s history.

In Richmond, Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

 

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Should All Virginia Workers Be Entitled to Paid Sick Days?

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Credit: NPR

Democrats are hoping to make workers a centerpiece of their first term in power. Michael Pope has this report about one bill that would help low-wage workers.

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State Democrats Waste No Time; Move Ahead Several Gun-Control Proposals

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It was a busy day at the Capitol for people on both sides of the gun debate. D.J. Spiker, head of the Virginia NRA, appeared at a press conference with Republican lawmakers opposed to restrictions on firearms. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Visitors, legislators and staff all faced long lines this morning because of new security measures to keep guns out of the state capitol. And Democrats took quick action on other measures to restrict access to guns. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Safety Service Patrol taking risks, Virginia Beach’s at-risk properties

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Virginia Beach is ready to commit more money t to mitigate the effects of a rising sea level…And the Interstate-81 Safety Patrol is getting some additional resources to help keep traffic moving.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Pope, Church & State: A weekly look at the General Assembly’s 2020 Session

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(Credit: Michael Pope)

A weekly conversation about what’s happened at the General Assembly with Michael Pope and Luke Church.

Week Two:

Much of the drama at the General Assembly this week has been about what might go on outside the capitol building.

Week One:

Lawmakers are wrapping up the first few history-making days at the General Assembly.

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Virginia Lawmakers Ban Guns at State Capitol

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Senators and Delegates discuss the ban during a Joint Rules Committee meeting Friday. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Virginia lawmakers have voted to ban firearms at the state Capitol, the first in what’s expected to be many contentious gun votes in coming weeks. Michael Pope has more.

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Effort to Implement Transgender Student Policies for Virginia Schools Moves On

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Democratic Senator Jennifer Boysko of Herndon has a bill that would require the Department of Education to come up with a model policy. It passed in a subcommittee Friday. (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

Schools across Virginia may soon have a standard set of rules for how to deal with transgender students. Michael Pope reports.

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Governor Allots Funds to Preserve and Tell Black History

governor-northam-official-photo_800The Governor wants to make sure Virginians are learning a complete version of the state’s history. His budget includes money to support an emphasis on black history at several sites across the state. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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In Light of Recent Texas Shooting, One Virginia Lawmaker Wants to Allow Guns in Churches

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Delegate John McGuire has proposed legislation that would lift Virginia’s ban on guns in churches. (Credit: Virginia House GOP)

Democrats have a long list of gun control measures that they are hoping to pass this year. But Republicans have their own ideas about laws the General Assembly should enact. Michael Pope reports.

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Governor Northam Delivers State of the Commonwealth to Democratic Legislature

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Governor Ralph Northam delivers his 2020 State of the Commonwealth address.                    (Credit: Michael Pope)

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam gave the annual State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, he spoke of both fiscal responsibility and progressive goals.

Reaction to the governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address fell along party lines.
Michael Pope has that part of the story.

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This Year’s General Assembly Session is Already Historic

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Eileen Filler-Corn takes her oath of office, becoming the first woman and first Jewish speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Members of the Virginia General Assembly are back in Richmond this week, gaveling in an historic session. Michael Pope has this report from the House floor.

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Debate Over Gun Control Will Likely Dominate This Year’s General Assembly Session

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Democrats won control of the General Assembly after a campaign that prominently featured a debate over gun control. Now, that issue could end up being the defining issue of this year’s General Assembly session. Michael Pope reports.

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New General Assembly Session Brings New, Diverse Leadership

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Virginia’s General Assembly is gaveling back in Wednesday.

And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports it’s with a diverse slate of new leadership.

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‘I Lost Hope’ A Look Inside the ICE Detention Center in Farmville

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  An empty dorm at the ICE Farmville Detention Center.
(Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

In Farmville, about an hour south of Charlottesville, there’s an immigration detention facility. It holds men who officials allege are in the country illegally.

Earlier this summer Virginia Public Radio requested a tour of the privately-owned facility.

It took months to arrange, but reporter Mallory Noe-Payne was finally granted access and has this report.

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Task Force Plans to Mark Centennial of 19th Amendment

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A suffrage parade in New York City in 1912. (Credit: Library of Congress)

2020 marks 100 years since the federal government legalized women’s right to vote.

As plans to observe the anniversary get underway, other historic moments for women are on the horizon in Virginia.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Could Virginia’s Right-to-Work Law Split Democrats in Richmond?

StateSeal00Democrats have a long list of labor issues to tackle after they take control of the General Assembly later this week. But, one of labor’s top issues is dividing Democrats. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Working to preserve UVA’s Library Card system, Roanoke Courthouse cell phone solution

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Books in libraries these days are almost always cataloged on computers.  But the traditional card system still has admirers who are working to preserve it.  And there’s at least a partial solution to the problem of what to do with the forbidden mobile phone at the courthouse door.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Delegate Sam Rasoul: It’s Time for Ranked Choice Voting in Virginia

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Do Virginia elections need a shot in the arm? Michael Pope has this report on one proposal that would upend Virginia politics.

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There’s No Way to Expunge a Conviction in Virginia, And One Lawmaker Wants to Change That

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When defendants are convicted of crimes, that court record is permanent in Virginia. But, one lawmaker is suggesting the General Assembly consider the possibility of expunging the record for some of those convicted. Michael Pope reports.

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It’s Looking Like Virginia Will Decriminalize Marijuana Possession This Year

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A few years ago, decriminalization of marijuana possession seemed out of reach in Virginia. Now, as Michael Pope reports, it’s very likely to happen this year.

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What Would Happen if Virginia Joined the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

StateSeal00Virginia is about to join a new initiative to cut down on pollution associated with transportation, although critics say the cost is too much. Michael Pope reports.

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Congressman Connolly Wants to Use An Old Tool to Enforce Congressional Subpoenas

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Congressman Gerry Connolly

Even though the impeachment debate has now moved from the House to the Senate, a powerful Virginia Democrat is still calling on his party leaders to do more to force administration officials to work with House investigators. Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.

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“Middle Housing”: Equal Access or a War on Suburbs?

StateSeal00Zoning decisions are usually made by your local government. But, lawmakers in Richmond are thinking about getting into the act. Michael Pope reports.

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2019 Was a Busy Year for Virginia’s Congressional Delegation

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Credit: NPR

2019 was a historic year in Washington for many reasons, including the new makeup of the freshmen class that states like Virginia made more diverse than any others. Correspondent Matt Laslo reports that besides making history, the Commonwealth ended the year on a legislative high note.

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Redistricting Debate Likely to Take Center Stage Again Next Month in Richmond

StateSeal00One of the biggest issues in next year’s General Assembly session is likely to be a leftover issue from last year — gerrymandering. Michael Pope reports.

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Some Virginia Congressional Leaders Are Beyond Ready to Shift Focus From Impeachment

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Credit: Rog Cogswell / Creative Commons

Members of the Virginia congressional delegation are glad that impeachment has moved out of the House, because it distracted from many of their priorities last year.  Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.

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Va. News: Weather’s impact on the White Oak, Record Pedestrian Bridge helps Southwest Virginia

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Tourism in Southwest Virginia is about to get a boost… and state officials are monitoring a spike in reported losses of White Oak trees.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Legislation to Fix the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund is Now Law

StateSeal00Before they left town for the holidays, members of Congress and President Trump took action to help victims of the Virginia Beach shooting. Michael Pope reports.

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2019 State of the Commonwealth Report: A Healthy Virginia Economy

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Credit: Old Dominion University

Virginia’s economy continued to expand this year. Nick Gilmore reports that’s the finding of Old Dominion University’s annual State of the Commonwealth report.

You can find the full report here.

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Democratic Gun Control Legislation May Bar Guns From State Capitol

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Gun control is expected to be one of the top agenda items for Democrats as they take control of the General Assembly next month. And, that could include a ban on guns in and around the Capitol. Michael Pope reports.

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Poll Points to Support for Loan Limits

payday_lendingVirginia voters want to see the General Assembly take action on curbing high-interest lending in Virginia.

That’s one finding of a poll that may factor into the upcoming session. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Aims to Gather Better Data About Internet Service Areas

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Rep. Donald McEachin

Bad data on service and quality from internet service providers is frustrating to many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

Now one Virginia congressman is doing something about it. Michael Pope reports.

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Beyer Bill Would Bring Comparison Shopping to Health Care

don_beyer__official_114th_congress_photo_portrait.jpegAs Congress approaches the end of the year, the Democratic House majority is introducing a flurry of new legislation — including reforms to health care.

One bill aims to create more transparency about the cost of care. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Attorney General: 2nd Amendment Sanctuary resolutions “have no legal effect”

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Attorney General Mark Herring

Attorney General Mark Herring says Virginia localities have no legal standing to exempt themselves from gun control legislation.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, he issued an advisory opinion on the question Friday.

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Line in the Sand or Symbolic Statement: 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Movement Grows in Virginia

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Amelia county resident Troy Carter speaks to the county Board of Supervisors shortly before they vote to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

In the past week, at least five more Virginia localities have voted to become Second Amendment Sanctuaries, a symbolic gesture of support for gun rights.

Mallory Noe-Payne was in Amelia County Wednesday night for one of the most recent votes.

She has this look at the growing trend.

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A Look at How Presidential Candidates Get on Virginia’s Primary Ballot

StateSeal00Democrats have set their list of candidates for Virginia’s presidential primary next year, and Republicans are planning a convention. As Michael Pope reports, Virginia makes it particularly difficult for candidates to get on the ballot.

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State Report Sheds Light on Internal Issues at Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries

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In December, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, or JLARC, confirmed a host of problems with the operations and management of the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The department regulates hunting and fishing through licensing and its conservation police force.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Education, Environment and Gas Tax: Takeaways from Gov’s Budget Proposal

governor-northam-official-photo_800Fully funding Virginia’s public schools, an increase in the fuel tax, and a new state run health insurance marketplace — those are all on Governor Ralph Northam’s budget wish list. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Despite Impeachment, Congressman Beyer is Finding Success With Animal Testing Bill

Don_Beyer,_official_114th_Congress_photo_portrait.jpegWashington may be bitterly divided over impeachment. But, the tension over President Trump is also providing an opportunity for bipartisan action against animal testing. Michael Pope reports.

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Jens Soering Begins New Life in Germany

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Soering at the ICE detention center in Farmville. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Jens Soering is back in Germany, paroled after more than 33 years behind bars, 29 of them in Virginia.

He was convicted in the brutal murder of his girlfriend’s parents – a crime he insists he did not commit.

Before leaving, Soering gave an exclusive interview to Virginia Public Radio’s Sandy Hausman who has covered his case for nearly a decade.  She set up a microphone at the ICE detention center in Farmville.

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JLARC: Virginia Spent Less Than Expected on Medicaid This Year

StateSeal00More Virginians received health insurance through Medicaid this year while the state actually spent less than expected on the program. As lawmakers learned Monday that’s because of Medicaid expansion. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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CNU Poll: Virginians Largely Support Democratic Agenda

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Credit: Christopher Newport University

Democrats won majorities in the House and Senate this year by promising a sweeping series of reforms. And now, a new poll indicates widespread support for that agenda. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: School District may change unpaid board policy, Honor System failing on Richmond bus line

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The honor system doesn’t seem to be working very well for a new public transit line.  And one of the last localities in Virginia with an unpaid school board has decided to compensate members.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Nominating Contests Shape Up in Virginia

virginiaEvery year is an election year in Virginia, but next year’s presidential election is going to be one for the record books.

Michael Pope has this preview of the nominating contest here in Virginia.

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National Park Service Needs You; Help I.D. Invasive Animal Species

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A volunteer participates in a BioBlitz at Rocky Mountain National Park. BioBlitz events — an intensive field study in an area that usually lasts for more than 24 hours — can help identify the presence of invasive species in national parks. (Credit: National Park Service)

National Parks in this country are losing native species at an alarming rate and the National Park Service is asking for help to combat the growing problem. Robbie Harris reports.

And there’s an App for that here. Actually, there is a couple of them. Here’s another one.

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