With Time Running Out, ERA Advocates Pull Out All the Stops

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Supporters of the ERA say the effort to get the General Assembly to pass the constitutional amendment are down but not out.

Michael Pope explains.

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The Politics of Alpacas at the General Assembly

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Alpacas were not included in the Code of Virginia’s listing of livestock. (Credit: James Preston via flickr.com / Creative Commons)

Alpacas are becoming increasingly popular across Virginia, although state laws have not kept up with the trend.

Now, as Michael Pope reports, one lawmaker has a bill to do just that.

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Bill to Require ICE Notifications Headed to Senate Floor

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(Credit: ICE)

How closely should local jails work with federal immigration officials?

That’s an issue that lawmakers are debating in Richmond.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Legislature Formally Apologizes for Violent Racist Past

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  The 1893 public lynching of black teenager Henry Smith in Texas.
(Credit Wikimedia)

Virginia lawmakers are expressing profound regret for lynching, the brutal murders of black men and women by white mobs in the decades after the Civil War.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly comes amidst a messy and public debate about racism in Virginia.

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African-American Lawmakers Decry $21 Million Cut to Education

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The blackface scandals have caused lawmakers to approach a number of policy issues in new ways.

As Michael Pope tells us, that includes the budget.

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UVA Expert Says Plenty of Physicians Harbor Racist Attitudes

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Dr. Irene Mathieu chairs the Equity and Inclusion Committee at UVA’s Department of Pediatrics. (Credit Irene Mathieu)

During his campaign for governor, Ralph Northam appeared in a TV ad, holding an African-American baby.

The message was that Doctor Northam – a pediatric neurologist – cares deeply for kids, regardless of race.

That made the picture in his medical school yearbook doubly shocking.

But a fellow doctor told Radio IQ’s Sandy Hausman that racism is not uncommon in the medical profession.

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Party-line Votes Clear the Way for Legislation Keeping Virginia Out of RGGI

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Should Virginia join a regional effort to cut back on carbon emissions?

Party affiliation likely shows where your lawmakers stands on this issue.

Michael Pope reports.

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State Leaders Weigh Equity Policies Amid Political Scandals

general assembly coverage 2019In the wake of the blackface scandal, Governor Ralph Northam is asking Cabinet members to come up with ways to address inequality. Michael Pope has the latest.

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Could a “Special Committee” Investigate Claims Against Fairfax?

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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (Credit: Lburke007 / Creative Commons via flickr

Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to figure out a way to handle the sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, although at this point there are more questions than answers.

Michael Pope explains.

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Creating an Opportunity for HBCU Students out of Yearbook Scandal

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A GoFundMe campaign is aimed at helping students research Virginia’s politicians.

It took decades for a racist photo on Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page to come to light. Now one group wants to find out what else could be lurking out there, and they’re relying on a particular group of people to do the research. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

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Virginia’s Schools May Soon Be Able to Decide Whether to Open Before Labor Day

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King Dominion’s “Dominator” roller coaster. The Richmond-area amusement park has long been opposed to efforts to reverse a law requiring public schools to open after Labor Day weekend. (Credit: daveynin / Flickr)

School divisions across Virginia may be on the verge of starting classes before Labor Day, or least having that option. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislation Would Regulate Student Loan Servicers in Virginia

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Credit: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Some lawmakers are concerned that the student loan industry has spiraled out of control, and they’re hoping to make state regulators crack down.

Michael Pope reports.

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Tax Deal Almost Derails Over Question About Who Gets Left Out

general assembly coverage 2019A handful of Democrats in the statehouse briefly blocked a tax relief package after progressive groups said it disproportionately hurt low-income African-Americans. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Fairfax Impeachment Talk On Hold… For Now

StateSeal00Embattled Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is back at work this week, presiding over the Senate and resisting calls for his resignation. Michael Pope has details.

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If Fairfax Resigns, What Happens to the Lt. Governor Post?

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Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax talks to reporters inside the state capitol. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

So far, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is resisting calls for him to step down. But what happens if he resigns?

Michael Pope has this look at what happens next.

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Budget Deal Means Refund Checks This Fall

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Credit: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

As voters are considering their options later this year, many of the wealthiest in Virginia will be getting a check in the mail, thanks to the budget that lawmakers are moving forward with in Richmond.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Governor Agrees to Sign Republican Tax Proposal

general assembly coverage 2019Governor Ralph Northam is agreeing to sign off on a Republican tax proposal, returning about half a billion dollars to taxpayers rather than investing the money in education and infrastructure. Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest from the Capitol.

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Analysts: Additional Scandals May Help Northam

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Credit: sabreguy29 / Flickr

Now that every statewide elected official in Virginia is fighting to stay in office, many people are wondering about Virginia’s line of succession.

Michael Pope breaks it down.

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Virginia AG says he Wore Blackface at College Party

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Credit: Creative Commons

The political crisis in Virginia escalated dramatically Wednesday when another top Democrat — Attorney General Mark Herring — admitted putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was in college. Michael Pope has more reaction.

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Reaction to President Trump’s State of the Union Address

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Credit: John Brighenti / Flickr

President Trump and his administration are hailing his state of the union address for its calls for unity. But Virginia Democrats aren’t buying those overtures because the president also seemed to warn House Democrats to back off the very investigations that many freshmen lawmakers feel they were sent to Washington to conduct.

Freshman Northern Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton says she’s open to working with the president on items like combating AIDS, childhood cancer and even infrastructure, but she’s skeptical the president meant it.

Meanwhile, freshman Virginia Republican Denver Riggleman says he’s not sure if the speech will heal the divide on Capitol Hill, but he says the president struck the right tone.

He just fears Democrats will never agree to fund the wall or fencing the president is demanding.

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On Busiest Day of the Year, General Assembly Feeling Effects of Northam Controversy

general assembly coverage 2019The General Assembly is in a state of limbo. Lawmakers are trying to get work done on the busiest day of the year while people are wondering when — or if — the governor will resign. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Lawmakers Agree on Redistricting Commission, But Differ on Execution

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Credit: sabreguy29 / Flickr

The process of drawing maps for House and Senate districts in Virginia has been a source of frustration — for voters and for members of the General Assembly. That process may be on the verge of dramatic change, although not without a knock-down-drag-out fight. Michael Pope reports.

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Debt Settlement Legislation Runs Out of Time

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Tuesday is the final deadline for all legislation to pass at least one house of the legislature.

And, as Michael Pope reports, the cloud hanging over the General Assembly means many bills won’t make the cut.

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Calls for Northam to Resign Continue in Richmond

StateSeal00Protests continue today outside the executive mansion in Richmond. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the Governor’s former allies and supporters continue to turn their backs.

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Lawmaking Goes on in Richmond Despite Northam Controversy

general assembly coverage 2019Lawmakers in Richmond are back at work this week, despite the swirling controversy surrounding Governor Ralph Northam. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Who Exactly Is Justin Fairfax?

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Credit: Lee District Democratic Committee / Creative Commons

The events in Richmond have created a new focus on the lieutenant governor, typically a low-profile job that has suddenly been cast into the spotlight. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Post Office Relocation, Virginia Beach Mystery Photos

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

A small Virginia town has been wondering why its post office is being moved. It seems they may now have the answer. And, the surprise appearance of some 70-year old photos has created a mystery in Virginia Beach.

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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Birth Control Access Continues to Prompt Heavy Debate in Richmond

StateSeal00Lawmakers are in a heated debate over abortion this year. But that’s not the only point of distinction between Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly. Access to birth control is another flashpoint in Richmond. Michael Pope has more.

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General Assembly Continues to Erupt Over Tabled Abortion Bill

general assembly coverage 2019A viral video of a House subcommittee meeting has turned the General Assembly upside down and made it the focus of conservative media. Michael Pope has more on the latest round of accusations.

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Virginia’s Population Has Grown Over the Last Decade, But Very Slowly

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Richmond, along with the state’s other urban areas, continued to outpace other parts of Virginia in population growth according to the report. (Credit: Will Fisher / Flickr)

Virginia’s population continues to grow, but at a slower rate than the national average. That’s according to a new report from the University of Virginia. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Effort to Address Wage Theft Gets Bipartisan Support

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Credit: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Republicans and Democrats are striking a deal to crack down on wage theft.

Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Late-term Abortion Debate Erupts Over Viral Video

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  House Speaker Kirk Cox took the rare measure of leaving the dais to speak from his old seat on the floor of the House of Delegates.
(Credit Michael Pope)

Abortion remains one of the hottest issues in the General Assembly, and it blew up on the floor of the House of Delegates and social media today/Wednesday.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Paystub Protections Appear to Have Bi-Partisan Support Across the Capitol

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Credit: sabreguy29 / Flickr

Low-wage workers may be on the verge of getting new protections. Michael Pope reports.

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When Lawmakers Promise a Raise for Teachers, It Doesn’t Always Happen

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Credit: alamosbasement / Flickr

Republicans and Democrats in Virginia are both on board with a five-percent teacher pay raise. That news comes after thousands of educators marched to the capitol Monday.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to raising teacher salaries.

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State Lawmakers Split on Regional Carbon Emissions Programs

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Should Virginia work with neighboring states to combat climate change? Lawmakers are divided. And, it’s a partisan disagreement. Michael Pope has more.

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Tax Certainty Could Come with Strings Attached

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(Credit: 401kcalculator.org / Flickr)

Each year, the state adjusts the tax code to reflect changes in federal law. But this year the routine process has been tangled up in a debate on tax policy.

If lawmakers don’t act immediately it could impact your return.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more from the capitol.

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Virginia Teachers Protest Low Pay at Capitol Rally

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  Thousands of teachers and education advocates marched to the state capitol Monday to rally for more education funding.
(Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Virginia teachers turned out in the thousands Monday to march on the state capitol – demanding higher pay and increases in school funding.

Mallory Noe-Payne was there and has this report.

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Could This Be the Year Virginia Establishes Redistricting Reform?

StateSeal00Recent years have seen a number of lawsuits challenging how legislative districts are drawn, and many advocates and voters are hoping the system of partisan redistricting is about to change. Michael Pope reports.

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Widow of Firefighter Advocates for “Move Over” Legislation

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The death of a firefighter on the side of an interstate is prompting action in Richmond, where lawmakers are considering legislation to toughen the penalties on drivers who don’t move over when approaching emergency vehicles.

Melanie Clark, the widow of that firefighter, is promoting the bill. Monday morning, she asked lawmakers to take action this year to keep first responders safe.

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Va. News: Using Trains to relieve I-81 congestion, Twitter account critical of Norfolk Schools

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There’s a new idea for using trains to reduce congestion on Interstate 81. And members of Norfolk’s school board want to know who’s been criticizing them using a government Twitter account.

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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More than a Thousand Teachers Expected to March on Richmond

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(Credit: Virginia Educators United)

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of teachers are expected to show up in Richmond Monday to show support for public education.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details on the march and rally.

 

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Herring Bill Targeting Paramilitary Groups Still Moving in State Senate

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Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a proposal that would crack down on the kind of paramilitary groups that marched on Charlottesville.

Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Announces Coal Ash Clean Up Agreement

governor-northam-official-photo_800Virginia’s governor and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are announcing plans to require the state’s largest electric utility to excavate and clean up unlined coal ash pits. Michael Pope has details.

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Luria Offers Shutdown Solution, Riggleman Expects Progress Soon

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(Credit Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia’s new Congressional members are becoming increasingly active in efforts to end a partial government shutdown.

Jeff Bossert reports.

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Court Picks Virginia Redistricting Plan that Helps Democrats

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

A panel of federal judges has chosen a redistricting map for Virginia’s House of Delegates that could shift some districts toward Democrats and help the party regain control in this year’s election. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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There’s Bipartisan Support to Remove Jim Crow Language from Virginia’s Code, With a Catch

StateSeal00Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are in agreement about getting rid of old Jim Crow language in the code. But Republicans have conditions. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers Want to Give Triple Damages to Stiffed Employees in Virginia

general assembly coverage 2019A bipartisan group of lawmakers is coming together to help low-wage workers. Michael Pope reports.

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Oyster Restoration Project See Successes and Challenges

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Wild oysters from Tangier Sound (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

It’s been ten years since Maryland and Virginia were ordered to restore oyster populations to tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

To meet that goal scientists have banked on building oyster sanctuaries. But reviving a species decimated by disease, over-harvesting and pollution hasn’t proved easy.

Maryland, Virginia and federal recently scientists met at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News to assess progress.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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To Make Schools Safe, Election Day Could Become a School Holiday

general assembly coverage 2019After the school shooting in Parkland Florida, lawmakers in Virginia formed a task force to make schools safer. Now, several of their suggestions are now well on their way to becoming law. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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As Shutdown Drags On, Efforts Underway to Protect Impacted Virginians

StateSeal00With no end in sight to the partial government shutdown in Washington, lawmakers in Richmond are trying to figure out how to help federal employees in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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