Archive for category Virginia’s News

Northam Endorses McAuliffe in Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

McAuliffe’s official portrait from his last stint as Virginia’s Governor.

One of the biggest endorsements in Virginia politics came out Thursday. Governor Ralph Northam threw his support behind former Governor Terry McAuliffe who wants his old job back. Jahd Khalil reports on what it could mean.  

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Now That Virginia Has Legalized Marijuana, What’s Happens Next?

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Now that lawmakers have taken action to legalize marijuana, they still need to make decisions about how the new industry will be regulated. Michael Pope reports.

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Parole Board Controversy Will Get Independent Investigation

Legislators approved a budget amendment funding an independent investigation into the Office of the State Inspector General Wednesday, as Republican lawmakers said the investigation’s scope sidestepped critical issues. Jahd Khalil reports.

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General Assembly Passes Northam Amendment, Marijuana to Be Legalized July 1st

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

The Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted Wednesday to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug beginning in July. Michael Pope has details.

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Five Democrats Seeking Nomination for Governor Debate at VSU

Credit: NPR

The Democratic primary for governor is only two months away, and the campaign is heating up. The five candidates seeking the party’s nomination have met for the first televised debate of the primary season. Michael Pope has details.

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A Look at the FOIA-Related Bills That Made Moves in the General Assembly This Year

The General Assembly is full of part-time lawmakers, people who bring their professional experience to the legislature. And that includes former journalists. Michael Pope has more.

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More Virginians Eligible for Child Care Subsidies

Virginia has temporarily expanded eligibility for child care subsidies to include those looking for work and families who make less than 85% of the average income in Virginia. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Lawmakers to Vote on Amendment Allowing Magistrates to Carry Firearms in State Buildings

This week, lawmakers will be considering an amendment to a bill they sent to Governor Ralph Northam earlier this year that bans guns at state buildings. The governor’s amendment creates an exemption for magistrates. Michael Pope reports.

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The State of COVID-19 Vaccinations in Virginia’s Prisons

It’s been more than a year since Virginia prisons locked down to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. The state has offered vaccine to every inmate, but restrictions are still in place and are unlikely to be lifted any time soon. In part one of a series, Sandy Hausman tells why.

Because the risk of a deadly COVID outbreak was especially high in state prisons, and because the disease could easily spread to surrounding communities through staff, inmates and employees were among the first Virginians to get vaccine. However, nearly a third of prisoners and more than 40% of staff have refused it.  That means significant restrictions remain in place, and frustration behind bars is building as Sandy Hausman reports in part two.

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Va. News: Two Virginia Students Make History

Credit: VPAP

A pair of students – one at the University of Virginia, the other at Virginia Military Institute – have made history at their schools this spring. More from Fred Echols.

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

Kasey Meredith (Credit: VMI)
Abel Liu (Credit: Business Wire)

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State Lawmakers to Consider Northam’s Facial Recognition Bill Amendment Next Week

Lawmakers will be reconsidering a bill on facial recognition technology when they meet next week. Michael Pope reports.

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A Silver Lining of Redistricting Census Delays

Population data from the 2020 Census was scheduled to be in the hands of Virginia’s Redistricting Commission in March. Now that it’s expected to arrive in August and September, the commissioners are taking the time to get acquainted with each other, and the processes of government business. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Sunsetting Coal Tax Credits: Where Will That Money Go Now?

The coal industry in Virginia is shrinking, and coal tax credits are on their way out. Michael Pope has this report on where the money that once helped subsidize the industry will go next.

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Officials to Provide Recommendations on Improving 911 Infrastructure

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

If you or someone you cared about faced an emergency, and you needed to call for help, how would you call 911? Chances are you’d reach for your cell phone. But, as Jahd Khalil reports, aging 911 infrastructure sometimes doesn’t match up with cell technology.

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Full Speed Ahead on Major Initiative to Cut Down on I-95 Congestion, Expand Amtrak Access

Governor Ralph Northam before Tuesday’s announcement (Credit: Michael Pope)

Railroads once dominated transportation in Virginia until the invention of the automobile. Now, rail is making a comeback. Michael Pope has the story.

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May Elections in Virginia Will Soon Be a Thing of the Past

This spring will see the last ever May elections for local government, as Michael Pope reports.

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Many More Deaths From COVID-19 Have Likely Gone Unreported

Credit: CDC

On Sunday, Virginia marks one year since a man in his 70s died from COVID-19. He was the first of 9,961 people who have died from the virus, officially. But as Jahd Khalil reports, the pandemic has claimed many more.

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Virginia Teachers Will Soon Undergo Cultural Competency Training Under New Law

Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni

Virginia history is complicated, and now teachers in Virginia will have help explaining some of the racial elements to students. Michael Pope reports.

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U.S. House to Consider Scott Legislation Updating Labor Laws This Week

Congressman Bobby Scott

The House of Representatives will consider a major piece of union legislation this week – a bill introduced by a senior member of the Virginia delegation. Michael Pope reports.

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EVs and Charging Stations: Virginia Going Zero Emissions Under New Vehicle Legislation

Virginia is about to become the first Southern state to enact zero-emissions vehicle legislation. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Endorses Herring Rival in Attorney General Race

Credit: Attorney General Mark Herring’s Twitter (@MarkHerringVA)

The Democratic primary for attorney general is heating up. And, a surprising endorsement might change the dynamics of the race. Michael Pope reports.

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Examining Next Steps for Legislation Passed During 2021 Session

The General Assembly session may be over for 2021. But, the process isn’t. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers Still Need to Balance Virginia’s Budget; Where Will Teacher Raises Fit Into That Work?

Virginia’s legislative session is wrapping up, but one big piece is still missing: funding. Lawmakers are expected to reveal the budget they’ve agreed on today. Reporter Jahd Khalil says eyes are on teacher salaries.

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State Lawmakers Kick Precinct Data Legislation Down the Road

Voters may be about to get better data about elections. But as Michael Pope reports, it won’t be this year.

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The Debate Over Reforming Virginia’s Bail System Likely Won’t End This Session

Lawmakers are taking action to change how the cash bail system works. Michael Pope reports.

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Conference Committee Working on Bill Allowing Mental Health Testimony in Criminal Cases

Credit: NPR

People with developmental disabilities are incarcerated much more often than the rest of the population. But when defending themselves, they’re not allowed to introduce evidence about their mental state at the time of the alleged crime. Jahd Khalil reports on how that practice could end.

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Despite Democratic Majorities, A Ban on Assault-Style Weapons Isn’t Headed to Northam’s Desk

Lawmakers are sending the governor several bills aimed at preventing gun violence. But there’s one bill they’re not sending him. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam: Some COVID-19 Restrictions to Be Relaxed Monday

The number of new COVID-19 infections is trending down, and vaccination numbers are going up. And, Governor Ralph Northam says that’s cause to relax some safety restrictions. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find more details about the relaxed restrictions here.

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Virginia Senate Votes to Remove Harry Byrd Statue from Capitol Square

The statue of segregationist Harry Byrd stands at Virginia’s capitol.

The General Assembly is about to remove a prominent symbol of its racist past from Capitol Square. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Rejects Farm Worker Minimum Wage Bill

Credit: NPR

Senate Democrats are rejecting an effort to guarantee a minimum wage to farm workers. Michael Pope has the story.

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Legislation Requiring In-Person Instruction Currently Under Consideration by House of Delegates

On Monday, some students in Henrico County returned to in-person learning. Governor Northam has asked all schools to have an in-person option by March 15th. A bill in the General Assembly would require it by this summer. Jahd Khalil has this report from Richmond.

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Effort to Add Paid Sick Days Has Been Narrowed, More Debate Potentially on the Horizon

Senators may be on the verge of approving paid sick days. But, the bill they’re considering would be a very narrow requirement. Michael Pope reports.

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State Democrats Want to Prevent Those Convicted of Domestic Abuse From Having Firearms

Lawmakers are considering a bill designed to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Remove Byrd Statue, Rename Jefferson Davis Highway

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers are taking action to remove some divisive symbols from public view. Michael Pope has the story.

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Legislation Would Help With Food Insecurity, During and After the Pandemic

More Virginians are having trouble getting access to food because of COVID-19. A bill before the General Assembly is looking to offer food banks assistance. But the bill also has implications after the pandemic. Jahd Khalil has details.

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Virginia Could Soon End Costly Coal Tax Credits

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would scrap tax credits for the coal industry. Michael Pope reports.

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State Call Center for COVID-19 Vaccination Registration and Information Now Live

Credit: CDC

Governor Ralph Northam delivered some good news during an update on Virginia’s continued COVID-19 response Wednesday: case numbers are trending down and vaccinations are up. The state has a few new tools as well. Nick Gilmore reports.

You can reach the call center at 877-VAX-IN-VA. And the online portal is accessible here.

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State Democrats Working Out Differences on Gun Control Legislation

Democrats campaigned on a platform of taking action to crack down on gun violence. Now, they’re divided on some of the details. Michael Pope has the story.

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The General Assembly Has Approved Marijuana Legalization, But Details Up in the Air

The House and the Senate have both approved legalizing marijuana, although there are differences between the two approaches that still need to be worked out. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Considering Baseline Data Privacy Law

What can a company do with your personal data? That’s what lawmakers are discussing in the General Assembly. California already has its own law. Jahd Khalil reports on a data protection act proposed for Virginia.

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Legislation Moving Forward in Richmond Would Ban Guns at All Virginia Polling Places

Now that Democrats are in control of the General Assembly, firearms are prohibited in a number of places. And, one of those places might soon be a polling place. Michael Pope has the story.

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It’s Open Season for Campaign Fundraising Thanks to Mostly Online Special Session

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers are now in a General Assembly unlike any other, partly because it’s largely virtual. But, the laws around campaign fundraising also work differently. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Extending Background Check Processing Time for Gun Purchases Moving Forward

Last year, Democrats took action on a host of new gun control laws. Now, they are coming back around to make some changes. Michael Pope explains.

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Legislation Seeking to Cut Back on Court Fees Now Under Consideration by State Senate

Senators are considering a House bill that would reduce some court fines and fees. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Come Together on Virginia’s Budget

Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to balance the books during a pandemic and an economic crisis. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislation Closing Campaign Finance Loophole Moving Forward in Richmond

Virginia lawmakers may be on the verge of closing one of the most notorious campaign finance loopholes in the country. Michael Pope reports.

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DMV Data Legislation Currently Under Consideration by State Senate

Credit: Virginia DMV

Earlier this year, Virginia residents with an undocumented immigration status could apply for a Virginia driver privilege card for the first time. But advocates were concerned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could use the DMV data without a court order. Jahd Khalil has more.

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Virginia House and Senate at Standoff Over Expungement… Again

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers agree they want to make it easier to expunge old criminal records. But, for a year now Democrats who control the General Assembly have not been able to agree about how to make that happen. Michael Pope explains why.

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Virginia Senate Considering Legislation Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

Lawmakers are considering a resolution that makes a declaration about the problem of racism. Michael Pope reports.

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A Look at Some of the Transportation-Related Legislation Moving Forward at the General Assembly

Nearly half of Virginia’s carbon emissions come from transportation. The House of Delegates took on a number of bills hoping to reduce those emissions, and now they’re in the senate’s hands. Jahd Khalil has this report.

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