Posts Tagged General Assembly 2018

Budget Talks Restart in May

Virginia_State_Capitol3Despite already being one month into overtime, state lawmakers will wait until mid May to restart budget negotiations. Leaders in the Senate say they want updated data on tax collections before they dive back in. 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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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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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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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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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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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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Special Session Looms as Republicans Remain Divided Over Medicaid

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Virginia’s Governor will call a special session so lawmakers can finish work on the state budget. They’re at an impasse over Medicaid expansion. But the disagreement isn’t between Republicans and Democrats, it’s between the House and Senate. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Governor Northam Signs Controversial “Dominion Bill”

governor-northam-official-photo_800Electric utility companies Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power have avoided Virginia regulators for several years, although that era may be coming to a close. Michael Pope has final developments on the so-called Dominion bill.

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Leaders in Richmond Are Punting School Safety Talks Until Next Year’s Session

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Lawmakers in Richmond may be about to wrap up their General Assembly session, but they’re already pushing school safety to next year. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with more.

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Lawmakers Delay Permanent Solution on Coal Ash

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Lawmakers in Richmond have punted a permanent solution on coal ash until another year. Coal ash the byproduct of coal burning power plants. Across Virginia, the ash sits in ponds as lawmakers and Dominion Energy work out how best to get rid of it. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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To Tether or Not to Tether? Lawmakers Weigh In

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Lawmakers in Richmond are deadlocked on how to handle tethering of dogs. Michael Pope reports.

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How Much Should Golf Courses Pay in Property Taxes?

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Are golf courses charged too much in property taxes? Lawmakers in Richmond are debating how much local governments should be able to charge. Michael Pope has details.

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State Lawmakers Are Trying to Iron Out Differences in Order to End Split Precincts

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The chaos of the last election is causing some discussion in Richmond about improving the way people vote. But the House and Senate have radically different approaches. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Lawmakers Continue to Discuss Changes to Criminal Justice System, Including Mental Health Reform


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Jails across Virginia are becoming de facto mental institutions as more and more inmates arrive every day with serious mental illness. And, lawmakers are hoping better treatment in jail might free up psychiatric beds for those not caught up in the criminal justice system. Micheal Pope reports.

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Funding for K-12 on the Line as Lawmakers Weigh Medicaid Expansion

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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)

Educators are keeping an eye on Richmond this week, as lawmakers wrap up work on the state budget.Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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With One Week to Go, There’s No Budget Deal to Be Found at the General Assembly

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Lawmakers are about to wrap up the General Assembly session and head home next week. But, they may end up leaving town without approving a budget. Michael Pope has details.

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Horse Racing Bill Breezes To Victory In General Assembly

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A Colonial Downs Off Track Betting parlor in Richmond in 2014. The state’s only race track and its OTB parlors have been closed for several years. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Horse racing in Virginia was once a thriving industry that employed thousands of people. These days it’s almost extinct. Lawmakers are about to bring it back, however. Michael Pope reports.

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As End of Session Nears, Senate GOP Holds Out Against Medicaid Expansion

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Hundreds rallied at the capitol Thursday for Medicaid expansion. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

With just a few days left before the end of the legislative session, it’s still unclear if Medicaid expansion will pass. For the first time in years, Republicans in the House of Delegates are supporting the measure. But Senate Republicans are still opposed. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Another General Assembly Session is Likely to Pass Without Any Movement On Gun Control

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Lawmakers in Richmond are getting ready to wrap up the General Assembly session and head home without taking any action on gun control. Michael Pope reports.

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General Assembly Snuffs Out Bill to Allow Alcohol in Cigar Bars

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Lawmakers in Richmond were considering allowing beer, wine and liquor at cigar bars. But, as Michael Pope reports, that effort hit serious opposition at the Capitol.

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Teacher Compensation is Also on the Mind of Virginia Lawmakers

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West Virginia is not the only place where teacher raises are being debated. Michael Pope reports lawmakers in Richmond are divided about whether or not they can afford to pay teachers more.

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Sometimes Even Prayer Becomes Political at the House of Delegates

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Lawmakers in Richmond are considering hundreds of bills. But they’re also considering spiritual matters. Michael Pope explains.

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Lawmakers Want to Further Penalize Employment Fraud

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State Senator Frank Wagner, R-Virignia Beach, addresses the Senate during a session at the Capitol last week. Wagner is among a group of Republicans who supported a bill that would increase the penalties for employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors instead of full-time employees. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Lawmakers in Richmond are poised to crack down on employers who are cheating the system and their employees. Michael Pope has the latest from Richmond.

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Tensions Are Rising in Richmond Over Gun Control

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Democratic Delegate Mark Levine of Alexandria. Levine sent out an email to his newsletter subscribers that accuses Republicans of allowing the massacre of children. GOP leaders struck back by voting down one of Levine’s bills. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The gun debate in Richmond is heating up, and it’s spreading to other business at the General Assembly that has nothing to do with guns. Michael Pope has more from the Capitol.

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Grocery Fund Would Help Kickstart Access to Food

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A bipartisan push to increase access to healthy foods is making its way through the General Assembly. The proposal would create the Grocery Investment Fund, to help get new businesses off the ground in areas that need them. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Interstate 81 Needs Fixes, But How to Pay?

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A proposal for a regional gas tax along the western highway failed. (Credit: VDOT)

In 2016, there were more than 2,000 crashes on Interstate 81. To help prevent more accidents, lawmakers in Richmond are considering ways to pay for improvements to the highway. But the first suggestion – a regional gas tax – has already gone down. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Medicaid Expansion Is Still on The Table, But There’s Opposition From Both Sides of the Aisle

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Lawmakers may be on the verge of expanding health insurance to poor people. But they’re hearing opposition from the right and the left, according to Michael Pope at the Capitol.

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College Students, Teachers Could Get Caught in Medicaid Debate Crosshairs

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Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to balance the books, but the numbers aren’t adding up. At least not yet. Michael Pope has more from the Capitol.

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Lawmakers Are Struggling to Find the Funds Needed to Help At-Risk Students

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Lawmakers in Richmond want to help at-risk students. But Michael Pope reports they’re struggling to find the money.

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Should Hair Dryers Have a Professional License in Virginia?

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Elected officials are often known for their blow-dry hairdos. Now they are debating whether the people on the other side of the blow-dryers need professional licenses. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Efforts to Expand Access to Feminine Hygiene Products Continue in Richmond

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Lawmakers in Richmond are debating a number of bills on the subject of menstrual equity. And, as Michael Pope reports, it’s a mixed picture.

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Republicans Head into Second Half of Session Optimistic

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House speaker, Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, presides over the House session at the Capitol. The House completed it’s business for crossover. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Heading into this year’s General Assembly Republicans had been battered at the polls. They were clinging to a single-vote majority that they won by by the luck of the draw. Now, one month in, Republican Speaker of the House Kirk Cox is upbeat. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Looking To the Future with Virginia’s Millennial Lawmakers

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The future is now. Or at least that’s what some lawmakers in Richmond say. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Virginia Doesn’t Have Any Sanctuary Cities, But What About Sanctuary Policies?

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Sanctuary cities became one of the hottest issues in the campaign last year. Now it’s become one of the most divisive issues in the General Assembly. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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What a Limited Medicaid Expansion in Virginia Could Look Like

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Republican Senator Siobhan Dunnavant is spearheading a number of healthcare reforms, including a limited expansion of the Medicaid program.

Virginia’s Governor is calling for a full expansion of Medicaid, the state run health insurance program for the poor. But many Republicans in the statehouse don’t like the idea of able bodied adults, no matter how poor, getting government-funded healthcare.

So they’re eyeing something else: a more narrow expansion of the program. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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The Right of Way: Lawmakers Look Into Turn Restrictions

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Should local governments be able to restrict which drivers can make turns? Lawmakers in Richmond are debating it, and Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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When It Comes to Cell Towers, Lawmakers Are Divided on Local Government Role

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How much control should local governments have over where cell towers go up? Lawmakers in Richmond are divided. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Should Virginia Inquire About Immigration Status When Someone Reports a Crime?

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Should undocumented immigrants fear reporting crime? That’s an issue lawmakers in Richmond are debating. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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A Bipartisan Deal to Reform Virginia’s Criminal Justice System Has Been Struck

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Governor Ralph Northam, front, waves during his first State of the Commonwealth address. Northam and Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox, behind Northam, have reached a compromise to reform Virginia’s criminal justice system.  (Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republicans and Democrats at the Capitol are striking a deal that will make significant changes to the criminal justice system in Virginia. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Virginia Preps to Let Bigger Big Rigs Hit the Roadways

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Anyone who has driven on Virginia’s interstates knows you have to be ready to share the road with trucks. But some are now pushing for those trucks to get even larger. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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How Long Should Schools Suspend Students in Virginia?

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Lawmakers in Richmond say schools are suspending too many students for too long. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Virginia Seeks to Create a Deaf Advisory Committee, But the Way Forward Isn’t So Clear

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A young child with a cochlear implant. Many children who are deaf or hard of hearing enter kindergarten and have difficulty communicating. (Credit: AP Photo / Sara D. Davis)

Children who are born deaf or hard of hearing often wind up in kindergarten with no formal language. The state wants to find out why and what can be done, but there’s disagreement over the best approach. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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The General Assembly is Considering Redistricting Reform, But Does it Go Far Enough?

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Lawmakers in Richmond have been hearing for years about the problem of gerrymandered districts. Now they’re ready to take some action. But, as Michael Pope reports, critics say it doesn’t go far enough.

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Lawmakers Want to Make ‘Sexting’ A Less Serious Crime for Minors

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Technology is changing the world. And, as Michael Pope reports, lawmakers in Richmond are struggling to keep up.

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Lawmakers Are Divided on How to End Controversial Utility Rate Freeze

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Lawmakers in Richmond appear to be on the verge of lifting a rate freeze for utilities. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Should Virginia Suspend Licenses for Those With Outstanding Court Fees?

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Lawmakers in Richmond are divided about whether people who have outstanding court fees should be able to drive. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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