Nick Gilmore

Everything you possibly could want to know about all things weather

Homepage: http://theweatherzone.wordpress.com

Pipeline Protests Get the Attention of Lawmakers

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

As tree clearing for the Mountain Valley Pipeline moves forward in southwest Virginia, some Democratic lawmakers in Richmond are asking for things to slow down. They’re also demanding support for a protester, who has been sitting in the pipeline’s path. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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GA Meets for Veto Session

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Virginia’s House of Delegates met for a veto session Wednesday, lawmakers tried to override only one of Governor Ralph Northam’s vetoes. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Space Designed for Maximum Impact

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Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Institute of Contemporary Art is a modern building in the heart of Richmond. (Credit: VCU ICA)

The corner of Broad and Belvidere is one of Richmond’s busiest intersections, and it’s about to get a bit busier. The intersection is now home to Richmond’s newest, and long anticipated, art museum. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Campaign Cash is Piling Up for Republican Senate Candidates

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Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart is facing a tough fundraising challenge from state Delegate Nick Freitas. (Credit: facebook.com/coreystewartva/)

The primary is only weeks away, and it’s not just the politics that’s heating up. It’s also the race for campaign cash. Michael Pope is adding up the numbers.

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How Does Virginia’s Tax Burden Compare to Other States?

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Have you filed your taxes yet? Perhaps you’re concerned about the tax burden you face. Michael Pope has this breakdown of how much money Virginians owe in federal, state and local taxes.

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VA News: Richmond Security Cameras, Polling Site called Inadequate

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

There’s a polling place in Dickenson County with no restrooms, no wheelchair access and not enough for space for people to vote without turning sideways. It appears the precinct’s voters won’t see improvements anytime soon. And Richmond is considering a plan that would reimburse homeowners for setting up security cameras.

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.

Click here for Va. News from the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Medicaid Isn’t the Only Funding Debate Left in Richmond

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Lawmakers are back in Richmond this week, still trying to hammer out a deal to finalize the budget. Although most of the attention has been focused on expanding health insurance to poor people, that’s not the only funding debate still playing out. Michael Pope has details.

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What is 287(g)? And How Does it Impact the Immigration Debate?

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Should local law-enforcement agencies enforce federal immigration law? That’s a debate that’s currently playing out in jails across Virginia. Michael Pope has the story.

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House Panel Adds Punishment to Medicaid Work Requirement

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Virginia could become the next state to add work requirements for Medicaid. The conservative reforms are being proposed by lawmakers in Virginia’s House. It’s part of a strategy to convince the state Senate to support Medicaid expansion. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Democrats Consider Choices to Take on Dave Brat

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

Virginia’s Seventh District is a small slice of the state, but the Congressional race there is drawing a lot of attention. Democrats think they can pick up the seat in the 2018 midterms. But first they have to choose a candidate. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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House Rejects Goodlatte Balanced Budget Amendment

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Critics of Washington spending say something needs to be done to reign in the excess, and one Virginia Congressman is pushing for a new constitutional amendment to make it happen.

Michael Pope has the story.

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American Chestnut Trees Grew Taller in People’s Memories

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American Chestnut in Warspur, Virginia with a dead, broken, main trunk and live small sprouts. The non-hybrid sprouts will soon succumb to the blight, which is still in the environment.

The American Chestnut tree has mythic stature in tree lore. Today the old giants of people’s memories are long gone from the landscape, wiped out by an Asian blight a hundred years ago. And even though they still loom large in the history and culture of Appalachia, new research suggests, their mythic proportions are likely, just that. Robbie Harris reports.

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An Answer on Medicaid Could Still be Weeks Away

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The gallery of Virginia’s State Senate was filled with supporters of Medicaid expansion Wednesday as lawmaker gaveled in for a special session.

State legislators will be working on the budget, as well as deciding whether to expand health insurance to the poor. The final decision on could still be weeks away, but advocates still made an effort to have their voices heard.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Before Leaving Congress, Goodlatte Will Again Attempt to Pass Balanced Budget Legislation

Bob_Goodlatte_official_photoSince the Great Depression, budget deficits have been the norm in Washington. That’s created a federal debt north of $21 trillion dollars. Now, one Virginia congressman is hoping to change that. Michael Pope reports.

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More and More Students Are Defaulting On Loans in Virginia

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According to new federal data, Liberty University has the highest number of student defaults  in the state. (Credit: Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr)

More and more students are defaulting on their college loans. Michael Pope is digging into the data for Virginia schools.

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How Has Medicaid Expansion Impacted Other States?

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As Virginia considers expanding Medicaid this week, many people are looking to the experience of other states. Have any of the 33 states that expanded health insurance for the poor and the disabled come to regret the decision? Michael Pope looks for answers.

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Va News: Richmond-area Newspapers End, Hackers Hit Vienna School District

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Two Virginia communities have lost their weekly newspapers, and hackers have attacked a Virginia high school’s computer network.

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.

Click here for Va. News from the Virginia Public Access Project.

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MVP Protestor on Monopod Cut Off From Receiving Supplies

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US Forest Service new order moves MVP Pipeline Protesters base camp farther from monopod sitter. (Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines)

Activists opposing the Mountain Valley natural gas Pipeline in southwest Virginia are camped in the Jefferson National forest, hoping to delay construction. One woman has been living on a monopod blocking the pipeline’s path. U.S. Forest Law enforcement have closed an access road, preventing supporters from getting food and water to her. Robbie Harris reports.

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Congressman Garrett Wants More Time for Lawmakers to Review Legislation

399px-Tom_Garrett_official_congressional_photoHow long should members of Congress have to actually read the legislation they are voting on? Michael Pope has this report about one Virginia congressman who says lawmakers shouldn’t be so hasty.

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Beer Boom Leads to More Classes

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Credit: University of Richmond

As Virginia’s craft beer industry continues to boom, it means more job openings. To help fill the demand, the University of Richmond is expanding its class options in beer making. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Conversation with Mark Warner: Russia, Facebook and the Trump Campaign

Virginia Senator Mark Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which recently released its bipartisan findings that Russia did try to interfere in the 2016 elections.

Correspondent Matt Laslo recently sat down with him to discuss everything from the ongoing investigation of potential collusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to the Facebook hacks that have garnered international attention. Here’s a slightly edited version of their conversation.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

What’s the most important takeaway from the Russia investigation to date?

“Russia massively intervened in our elections. They hacked both political parties. They released information to help Mr. Trump and hurt Clinton. They scanned or hacked into 21 states’ electoral systems, and they found ways to use social media in an unprecedented way in terms of not just political advertising, but more specifically creation of fake accounts that spread misinformation and disinformation.”428px-Mark_Warner_113th_Congress_photo

What do you think of President Trump’s continued insistence that nothing happened?

“I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but for someone who says there’s no there there, he continually tries to interfere in the Mueller investigation. His failure to acknowledge this threat means we are not as secure as we should be in terms of election security. That’s why the Congress and our Senate Intelligence Community acted in a bipartisan way to say that every vote in 2018 should have a paper ballot or a paper trail.”

Facebook has been under fire for this most recent leak. What role does Congress have in this to protect people’s data?

“I first called out Facebook and some of the social media platforms in December of 2016. For the first six months, the companies just kind of blew off these allegations, but these proved to be true; that Russia used their social media platforms with fake accounts to spread false information, they paid for political advertising on their platforms. Facebook says those tactics are no longer allowed — that they’ve kicked this firm off their site, but I think they’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”

What’s next for the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation?

“We hope we can keep putting pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to work with state electoral boards so that people have the appropriate security clearances. We also need to now move into the realm of how we grapple with the question around social media and what our recommendations are there. And then, we will still have a lot of questions about what level of collusion or collaboration might have taken place between Russians and individuals connected with the Trump campaign.”

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State Leaders Push Richmond to Modernize Schools

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney advocating for more state money for education during the General Assembly. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

In November voters in Richmond overwhelmingly supported a change to the city’s charter, pressuring leaders to come up with a plan to fully renovate city schools. This week, Virginia’s Governor signed that ballot measure into law. That means the clock is now ticking for the Mayor’s office. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Northern Virginia Hospital is Leading the Way in Cutting Down on C-Sections

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The Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. (Credit: NCinDC / Flickr)

In the last few decades, the number of cesarean section births has skyrocketed, and many leaders in the medical community feel it’s at a crisis level. But one hospital in Northern Virginia may have come upon a way of solving the problem. Michael Pope has the story.

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Democratic Hopefuls Across Virginia Have Differing Positions on Trump Impeachment

473px-Donald_Trump_official_portraitAs Democrats across Virginia prepare to head to the polls in June, they will be choosing between candidates who are taking a variety of positions on impeaching President Trump. Michael Pope has that story.

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Kaine Kicks off Senate Re-Election Campaign with ‘Crisp’ Economic Message

220px-Tim_Kaine,_official_113th_Congress_photo_portraitDemocrat Tim Kaine lost the last election he ran in, as Vice President on Hillary Clinton’s ticket. But he’s hoping to win the next one: his reelection bid to the US Senate. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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The Medicaid Expansion Debate May Come Down to Rural Hospitals, Which Could Need it to Survive

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Credit: Mark Goebel / Flickr

Rural Virginia hospitals may end up playing a significant role in the ongoing debate over Medicaid expansion. Michael Pope has the story.

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Saying Gun Control is a Must, Va Dems Create Separate School Safety Group

unnamedAfter the shooting at a Florida high school, Republican leadership in Virginia’s General Assembly created a bipartisan work group on school safety. The group hasn’t even met yet, but Virginia Democrats are already criticizing it for not tackling gun control. Now, Democrats are starting their own group. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Lawmakers Press Local Governments to Pass Gun Measures

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Democratic state Senator Scott Surovell is part of a group pressing local governments to adopt ordinances outlawing loaded shotguns and rifles on public highways.

Lawmakers who were unsuccessful in accomplishing gun control during the General Assembly are shifting their focus to local governments across Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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When It Comes to the State’s Debt Management, Times Have Changed

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For many years, Virginia had a reputation for avoiding debt. But recent years have seen the commonwealth taking on increasing amounts of debt. Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Congressman Fights for the CFPB

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Congressman Don Beyer speaks in front of the Consumer Protection Bureau. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Since the election of President Trump in 2016, efforts to crack down on predatory lending in Washington have all but ended. That’s causing a fair amount of concern among people who oppose high interest rates. Michael Pope reports.

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‘We’re Being More Mindful’ Monument Avenue Commission Quietly Continues Work

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Members of the Monument Avenue Commission listen to presentations from small groups during a meeting at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Richmond. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Richmond’s Monument Avenue Commission held one of its final community meetings Thursday night. Almost a year ago the group was tasked with a big question: What should Virginia’s capitol city do with its confederate monuments?

In the months since, that issue has become a flashpoint. Caught in the middle of that tension, the Monument Avenue Commission has aimed to keep things civil. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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An Early Look At Fundraising Totals For Virginia’s Mid-Term Congressional Candidates

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Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock currently holds a large lead over Virginia’s other Congressional candidates in fundraising.

The race is on for 2018, and a huge slate of candidates will be on the ballot during primary season this year. The election is only two months away, so candidates are furiously trying to raise money. Michael Pope reports.

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Clapper Stresses the Importance of the Intelligence Community at Roanoke College

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper gave a talk on the ethics and importance of information gathering at Roanoke College last night. Nick Gilmore was there and filed this report.

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Where Does Lottery Money Go in Governor Northam’s Budget?

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Money from gambling may be making its way into the classrooms. Or maybe not. Michael Pope explains.

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Controversial Cell Tower Bill Rests in Governor Northam’s Hands

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Local governments are pressing the governor’s office to make significant changes to a bill governing where and when cell towers can be constructed. Michael Pope has that story.

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Governor Reiterates Call for Medicaid Expansion

governor-northam-official-photo_800Governor Ralph Northam proposed a new budget Wednesday, kickstarting round two of spending negotiations with lawmakers. His budget also reiterated a call for Medicaid expansion. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Budget Negotiations Leave School Districts in Limbo

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, along with Richmond area lawmakers, calls on lawmakers to provide more funding to school districts. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a new state budget Wednesday. That will kick off a second round of budget negotiations. The first round failed when lawmakers couldn’t agree during their normal legislative session. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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New Data Shows That Declining Populations May Not Be All Bad for Virginia’s Rural Counties

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U.S. Route 250 in Highland County (Credit: Creative Commons)

New numbers from the census bureau show that rural parts of the state are losing population. But that isn’t necessarily a problem. Michael Pope explains.

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New RC Poll: Housing Prices Are Moving Upwards in Virginia

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Home prices are on the rise in Virginia, according to a new poll from Roanoke College. Michael Pope explains why.

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Virginia Accepting Public Comment on Cap and Trade Plan

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Virginia is forging ahead with a carbon cap and trade program, the first of its kind for the state. Regulators are now taking public comment and the final meeting is in Richmond Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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VA News: Northern VA Carpooling, Hampton City Beach

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

The City of Hampton has an idea for reviving one of its tourist areas, and it’s already hard for Northern Virginia commuters to get to work in D.C. For some it may soon get worse.

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

Click here for Va. News from the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Following Pennsylvania Special Election, Red Districts in Virginia Could Be Up For Grabs

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This year’s election is shaping up to be even more competitive than many observers thought, and congressional seats that were considered safe a few years ago are now in play. One Central Virginia congressional district appears to have moved from a safe Republican seat into one of the hottest races this year. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers to Zinke: No Offshore Drilling for Virginia

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Leaders in the Trump administration are hearing from Virginia about opposition to offshore drilling. Michael Pope has the story.

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Comstock Leading Effort to Crack Down on Gang Activity

Barbara_Comstock_official_photo,_114th_CongressRepublican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is working across party lines in Washington to crack down on gang violence. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Virginia Students Participate in National Walkout

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Thousands gathered at UVA’s Rotunda to call for gun control reform. (Credit: Jordy Yager)

Across Virginia students participated in walkouts today, to remember the victims of the Parkland High School shooting. Mallory Noe-Payne was at Freeman High School outside Richmond and has this report.

The walkouts weren’t just at high school and middle schools, but also universities. Jordy Yager reports from the University of Virginia.

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Republicans Face an Uphill Battle When it Comes to Challenging Tim Kaine

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Corey Stewart, who nearly beat out Ed Gillespie for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last year, leads among GOP Senate hopefuls in a recent poll from Christopher Newport University. However, 66% of party respondents to that poll said they are undecided on who they will vote for in the June primary. (Credit: Richmond Tea Party / Flickr)

Voters are only a few months away from primary elections that will shape the 2018 race. But, Republicans are having a hard time attracting candidates who can raise enough money to take on Senator Tim Kaine. Michael Pope has details.

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Examining the Power of Virginia’s Governor

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Governor Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam will be spending the next few weeks combing through more than 800 bills the General Assembly sent to his desk.  And, as Michael Pope reports, he gets to make significant changes.

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Richmond’s Confederate Monument Debate Featured on 60 Minutes

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Credit: Ron Cogswell / Flickr

Virginia’s capital city made prime-time news this weekend during an episode of CBS’ 60 minutes about Confederate monuments. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Pope, Church and State: A Weekly Look at This Year’s General Assembly Session

General Assembly 2018-01As part of our continuing General Assembly coverage, Luke Church and Michael Pope sat down each week of the session to break down the highlights from the Capitol.

WEEK ONE

The first week of the session was largely centered around outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe, who delivered his final State of the Commonwealth Address to the joint chamber. McAuliffe discussed the accomplishments of his administration, although expanding Medicaid coverage in the state was one of his priorities that did not come to fruition. Church and Pope discussed reactions from both sides of the aisle to former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s final address.

WEEK TWO

Governor Ralph Northam’s honeymoon as the new Governor of Virginia didn’t last long, as week two at the General Assembly saw partisan lines reemerge. Republicans saw Northam’s first address to the joint chamber as a continuation of rhetoric from out-going Governor Terry McAuliffe. Despite a tense atmosphere in Richmond, there were attempts to move forward with legislation in a bipartisan manner. Luke Church and Michael Pope also discussed some of the newest faces at the session this year.

WEEK THREE

Medicaid expansion was at the forefront of discussions at the General Assembly this week. In addition, many in Richmond were still reeling from the way the tied 94th House District race was decided — by the luck of the draw. There were calls on both sides of the aisle to make sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

WEEK FOUR

Discussions over Medicaid expansion continued this week at the General Assembly. Republicans indicated a desire to potentially compromise, but they wanted a work requirement to be included in any possible expansion. The debate over Confederate monuments also came to the forefront of discussions this week.

WEEK FIVE

Lawmakers came together in a bipartisan manner this week to strike a deal that will reform Virginia’s criminal justice system. Democrats got to raise the felony theft threshold limit, while Republicans got to reform the state’s restitution system, which is plagued by hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid money to victims.

WEEK SIX

The session reached its halfway point this week. Democrats and Republicans alike said they were surprised at how much had been accomplished. Some big fights remained though, including medicaid expansion and the budget. Michael Pope and Luke Church discuss lawmaker reaction to the Florida shooting as well as what had been accomplished up to the halfway point of the 2018 session.

WEEK SEVEN

Money, money, money. The push to approve budget amendments was the main highlight of the session this week. Both chambers reached a final budget, but a showdown over Medicaid expansion became a major sticking point.

WEEK EIGHT

The end of the 2018 General Assembly session was in sight this week, but there were still some big issues to tackle. Gun control reform measures went nowhere, and vast differences over how to reach a final budget agreement remained.

WEEK NINE

The session adjourned on Saturday, but there’s one major task still left to tackle: a final budget agreement. The major sticking point seems to be Medicaid expansion. Governor Ralph Northam has indicated he plans to call for a special session in order for lawmakers to come together on a final state budget.

 

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Va News Topics: Henrico County Water Costs, Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel Expanding

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Henrico County has a plan to secure its water needs for a half-century at what it considers bargain prices, and new technology will be brought in to add capacity to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and with it will come a new problem.

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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