California has approved a new set of laws to protect the privacy of data, and with half of all e-mails in this country passing through data centers in Virginia, this could be the next state to take action. The legislature is considering bills that would require police to get a search warrant if they want a look at your electronic files. Sandy Hausman reports.
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Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on February 18, 2016
As we pass the halfway point for the state General Assembly, a new poll from Christopher Newport University reveals what many Virginians’ think of this year’s hot topics. Virginians, like their lawmakers, are divided on issues of gun control, medicaid expansion, and gay rights.Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on February 18, 2016
Residents of a Richmond suburb are happy to have Amtrak trains running through their town but they don’t especially want additional tracks added…and the General Assembly may soon enact a benefit for farmers who donate produce to food banks. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
After years of waiting for a jetty to protect their harbor, residents of Tangier Island thought the deal was done. Then came a rumor that Virginia’s share of the cost was removed from the governor’s budget. It turned out to be true. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on February 10, 2016
According to a new poll from the Virginia Education Association, almost three quarters of Virginians say teachers in the state don’t make enough money. It looks like teachers will be getting a raise in this year’s budget — But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the question is how much.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on February 9, 2016
If you don’t have kids you still have to pay the taxes that support public schools, just like everyone else. But Republicans in the state legislature are putting weight behind an educational measure that would change that.
Mallory Noe-Payne reports on a bill that would allow parents who send their kids to private school or home-school to get some of their tax money back.
State lawmakers will soon consider a bill that could make it easier for convicted sex offenders to find employment when they get out of prison. It passed easily in the Senate, but Sandy Hausman reports it may fail in the House, and at least one expert thinks it might not make that much difference.
Posted in Virginia's News on February 1, 2016
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge was hit hard by last week’s winter storm. Wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour created a pounding surf that carried away parts of the beach and parking lot. This is normal for a barrier island, but it’s a huge problem for the nearby town of Chincoteague. Like many of Virginia’s coastal towns and islands, money is the only thing that can save them. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Medication is exempt from sales tax in Virginia, and one other category could be included in that group if the legislature approves. As Sandy Hausman reports, lawmakers are considering a bill to stop taxing feminine hygiene products.
Virginians are in strong favor of changes to the juvenile justice system, that’s according to a new poll from Virginia Commonwealth University. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s good thing — because improving the system is on the agenda for lawmakers this legislative session.
Opponents of new gun control laws have set their sights on two executive orders issued by the governor – vowing to undo Terry McAuliffe’s limits on those who want to carry concealed weapons in the Commonwealth. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on January 24, 2016
Virginia has a new economic development proposal for regions within the state…it’s an effort to take some of the decision-making out of the hands of lawmakers and place it back into the hands of stakeholders. But as Tommie McNeil reports, the concept called “Go Virginia” is also getting some mixed reviews.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on January 21, 2016
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on January 20, 2016
Lawmakers in Richmond are reviewing a bill that would help Virginians cut their energy costs, but critics say it could make power more expensive for customers.
Tonight, January 12, President Obama will deliver his last State of the Union address at the U-S Capitol. Matt Laslo will be there and he caught up with Virginia lawmakers about what they’re hoping to hear.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has proposed a series of changes to public education aimed at preparing students to join the workforce, but Virginia’s teachers may not like some of his ideas. Sandy Hausman reports.
On any given day, the state of Virginia is dealing with about 5,000 kids who’ve broken the law. Some are on probation or parole. Others are in community programs, but about 400 are locked up. Eighty percent of them end up committing new crimes within three years of being released. Now, lawmakers in Richmond will debate reforming the juvenile justice system by building two new detention centers. Sandy Hausman reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on January 11, 2016
President Obama started the New Year off by refocusing Washington and the nation on gun control. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that he may have inadvertently broadened the gulf between him and Republicans who control Capitol Hill.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on January 11, 2016
A Virginia state senator wants to lend a legislative helping hand to craft breweries in the Commonwealth…and the town of Leesburg is giving some thought to separating from Loudon County and becoming a city. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.
Posted in Virginia's News on January 10, 2016
Five economically distressed regions of Virginia are receiving grants to stimulate job growth. Maurice Jones, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce, traveled to the Northern Neck Friday to personally hand over a $70,000 check for a new center to help bring technology jobs back to the U.S. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
This holiday season turned many consumers into bargain sleuths, trying to figure out the best deals, the best time to buy…. more decisions to make than ever before. But researchers say, it’s becoming clear that there’s also more to a great deal than price alone. Robbie Harris reports.
Recent record highs this winter may have you seeing green in your garden long before you should. Reporter Mallory Noe-Payne visited Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, to see what’s blooming.
It’s the time of year when people may be feeling they are maxed out on their credit cards. So is it time to go ‘cash only?’ Researchers at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business warn, there’s a subtle catch to using cash. It may lead you to splurge even more. Robbie Harris reports.
Governor Terry McAuliffe is in the midst of a three-day trip to Cuba, hoping to drum up new business for Virginia, but as Sandy Hausman reports, his mission could benefit businesses nationwide.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on December 22, 2015
Gun owners from out of state will find it harder to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, beginning this February. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state will no longer recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states whose standards aren’t as strict as Virginia’s.
Posted in Virginia's News on December 21, 2015
Virginia Commonwealth University is one of the state’s most diverse four-year colleges. But if you’re a student there you may not see that diversity in who’s teaching you. While 15% of VCU students are African-American, only 5% of full-time faculty are. Students are demanding that VCU fix that problem– and fast. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia lawmakers were divided on the legislation to fund the government. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that the legislation has a lot in it for the commonwealth.
Petersburg City Council has overwhelmingly approved a new residency requirement despite having been told the policy is illegal…and the Virginia GOP is considering whether to ask voters for their phone numbers and email addresses when they cast ballots in the party’s presidential primary. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org.
Virginia is one of 20 states that have opted to not expand Medicaid using money the federal government is providing through the Affordable Care Act. It’s been the source of deep discord between Virginia’s Democratic Governor and its Republican legislature, for a couple of years. But as part of a big budget proposal, Governor McAuliffe threw his hat into the ring for one more Medicaid fight. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has presented his full two-year budget proposal to a select group of finance leaders from Virginia’s legislature at the state capitol. Following a surplus last year, the governor’s budget is the most expensive in Virginia history – topping $100 billion. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Part of Governor McAuliffe’s overall proposed budget includes more than $1 billion dollars allotted for education. Kelsea Pieters has reaction from John O’Neil, with the Virginia Education Association.
The Day Reporting Center, operated by a for-profit contractor called GEO Reentry, is designed to keep non-violent criminals from returning to jail. CREDIT GEO REENTRY
Both U.S. Senators from Virginia have now signed onto a bill that would scale back punishments for certain drug offenders, giving judges more discretion in sentencing. The measure could also reduce the number of people going back to jail by promoting community-based programs designed to change the way criminals think. Sandy Hausman reports on one such program – the first of its kind in Virginia. The Day Reporting Center in Richmond is located at the end of a long hallway in the city’s old public safety building.
Earlier this year President Obama traveled to Alaska to highlight what he called the frontline of climate change. Earlier this year President Obama traveled to Alaska to highlight what he called the frontline of climate change. But a report published in Nature, says Virginia’s Tangier Island, just 90 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., on the Chesapeake Bay, may force islanders to leave during the next 25 years. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
There’s a petition in Henrico County to remove of the name one of Virginia’s most famous segregationists from a public school…and the Virginia half of the city of Bristol says it can’t afford to help the Tennessee half with some civic promotion efforts. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
Opposition is building to oil exploration off Virginia’s coast, and environmentalists hope a letter sent yesterday will delay noisy testing that could harm marine mammals and fish. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Governor Terry McAuliffe says he’ll call for a cut in corporate taxes in the budget he submits to lawmakers later this month – a move he claims would attract more foreign companies to Virginia. That sparked criticism from some Democrats who think the state needs that revenue for schools and other social services. At the University of Virginia, one expert says taxes are rarely a big deal for firms choosing a new location. Sandy Hausman spoke with him and filed this report.
In recent months, Richmonders have been deciding how best to memorialize the city’s difficult history with race and slavery. Between state and city funds there are almost 20 million dollars to spend on a slavery museum and improvements to the city’s Slave Trail.
But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the conversation about how best to spend that money hasn’t been easy.
Posted in Virginia's News on December 10, 2015
As the suburbs of Washington grew, people who loved the rural feel of neighboring Virginia counties were alarmed. Residents of Albemarle County were equally worried as Charlottesville began to expand. Today, a group called the Piedmont Environmental Council has emerged as a champion of farmland, forests and historic sites in nine counties south and west of D.C. It’s also become a model for preservationists nationwide as Sandy Hausman reports.
The Piedmont Environmental Council hosts an open house Friday, December 11 from 10:30 to 7 at its newly renovated headquarters on Horner Street in Warrenton.
Posted in Virginia's News on December 8, 2015
The Chronicle of Higher Education is out with its annual list of what private college presidents earn, and three Virginia executives are in the top 100. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Posted in Virginia's News on December 7, 2015
Virginia educators and state leaders are soon expected to be able to exert more control over local schools across the commonwealth. Matt Laslo reports on the effort speeding through Congress to unwind the controversial No Child Left Behind act.
For the past five years a think-tank in Richmond has been researching, crunching numbers and collecting interviews to answer the question: What does the region’s future look? Last week, for the first time, they delivered some of their findings to a packed auditorium at the Richmond Times Dispatch. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and files this report.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on December 7, 2015
In Virginia you can have photographic evidence of cars illegally passing school buses but still not be able to prosecute the drivers…and a bill to introduced in the General Assembly would allow some convicted drug offenders to clear their records. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
As we’re in the season of holiday celebrations at home, hundreds of families in Virginia fear they may be losing their homes because local inspectors say they’re not safe. Sandy Hausman reports that the city of Richmond has begun inspecting trailer parks – ordering residents to make repairs or move out.
Virginia was the first state in the nation to require that kids entering the sixth grade be vaccinated against human papilloma — a virus that causes cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men. Parents can opt out of that requirement, and it turns out many of them do. Virginia ranks 44th in the nation when it comes to HPV vaccination. A team of nurses at the University of Virginia is looking at that problem and making recommendations, as Sandy Hausman reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on November 17, 2015
Although segregation ended formally in the United States more than fifty years ago, there are places right here in Virginia that are still segregated, and aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Those places are cemeteries. After integration, historically black cemeteries around Virginia fell to the wayside, often unkempt, uncared for, and forgotten. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Richmond has grand plans for building up more public art in the city. Just this past weekend a two-day free art exhibit outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts drew more than 20,ooo visitors. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports it’s just one example of what the city is hoping to do more of…
Posted in Virginia's News on November 16, 2015
If you thought the threat of a government shutdown was taken off the table, think again. Matt Laslo has this story from the Capitol on how Virginia may once again get caught in the crosshairs of a partisan battle in Washington.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on November 16, 2015
A Virginia small business is trying a new approach to raising capital, soliciting donations on the internet…and a York County school board election illustrates how important one vote can be. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link from vpap.org. More from Fred Echols.
Posted in Virginia's News on November 13, 2015
In 1967, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first endangered species list, the Eastern Shore’s Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel was there among better known species like the bald eagle and Florida manatee. A combination of clearcutting of old growth forests and hunting contributed to its near extinction. Today, the Service officially removed the squirrel from its federally protected designation. Pamela D’Angelo reports.