Roanoke Times: Blue Ridge Caucus

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Thursday 04/10/2014
Posted: April 10, 2014 - 2:39 pm
State tax collections surge in March

State general fund revenue collections increased by 7.8 percent in March compared to the same month last year, but year-to-date growth is flat through three quarters of the fiscal year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration reported today.

Thursday 03/27/2014
Posted: March 27, 2014 - 12:59 pm
Poll: Warner has 15-point advantage in Senate race

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner begins his re-election bid with clear advantage over likely Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, according to a new statewide poll released this morning.

Tuesday 03/18/2014
Posted: March 18, 2014 - 6:28 pm
McAuliffe vetoes bill dealing with guns in cars, sponsor says

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s first veto is a rejection of firearms legislation that he tried unsuccessfully to amend during the General Assembly session.

Posted: March 18, 2014 - 3:28 pm
Edwards, Rasoul host town hall on Medicaid expansion

Two Democratic state legislators will hold a town hall-style meeting on the General Assembly’s Medicaid expansion debate on Wednesday in Roanoke.

Monday 03/17/2014
Posted: March 17, 2014 - 5:27 pm
Rordam to Yost: "The best step forward is to close the coverage gap"

Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam is the latest local government official to wade into the debate over Medicaid expansion, urging state Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, to support a plan to accept federal funding to extend health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians.

Thursday 03/13/2014
Posted: March 13, 2014 - 4:56 pm
State tax collections drop by 3.4 percent in February

Virginia’s general fund tax collections declined by 3.4 percent in February compared to the same month last year and year-to-date growth continues to lag behind the state’s official revenue forecast, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration announced today.

Wednesday 03/12/2014
Posted: March 12, 2014 - 5:41 pm
Goodlatte hails passage of "Enforce the Law" act

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that would allow either house of Congress to authorize a lawsuit against the executive branch for failing to "take care that the laws are faithfully executed."

Wednesday 03/05/2014
Posted: March 05, 2014 - 12:24 am
House GOP demands "clean budget" and special session on Medicaid

Republicans in the House of Delegates said Tuesday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Senate Democrats should agree to hold a special legislative session on Medicaid expansion and sever the issue from negotiations on a new state budget.

Tuesday 03/04/2014
Posted: March 04, 2014 - 7:32 pm
House amends, passes "shared work" legislation

The House of Delegates today passed legislation that would allow Virginia businesses to temporarily cut workers’ hours as an alternative to layoffs and permit workers to receive unemployment compensation to partially replace lost wages.

Wednesday 02/26/2014
Posted: February 26, 2014 - 11:51 am
Goodlatte: Obama is "picking and choosing which laws to enforce"

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, opened a congressional hearing today with an unsparing critique of President Barack Obama's use of executive power, accusing the president of "picking and choosing which laws to enforce."

Tuesday 02/25/2014
Posted: February 25, 2014 - 11:26 pm
Martinsville mayor Adkins to seek state Senate seat

Monday 02/24/2014
Posted: February 24, 2014 - 10:47 am
School prayer bill clears House committee, but McAuliffe pledges to veto it

A bill designed to protect the rights of public school students to voluntarily pray and participate in religious activities on school grounds barely cleared a House of Delegates committee this morning, moving it one step closer to passage in the General Assembly.

Thursday 02/13/2014
Posted: February 13, 2014 - 1:40 pm
Bill to repeal hybrid tax headed to governor's desk

A bill to repeal a controversial licensing tax on hybrid vehicles is heading to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk.

Wednesday 02/12/2014
Posted: February 12, 2014 - 4:46 pm
McAuliffe recommends $140 million reduction to revenue forecast

Gov. Terry McAulliffe is recommended that the state reduce its general fund revenue forecast by $140 million over the next 17 months, citing slower-than-expected tax collections through the first seven months of the current fiscal year.

Monday 02/10/2014
Posted: February 10, 2014 - 10:43 am
Senate panel pulls plug on electric chair bill

A Senate committee this morning formally shelved legislation that would make the electric chair the default method of execution in Virginia.

Tuesday 01/28/2014
Updated: January 28, 2014 - 5:38 pm
Va. House passes Sunday hunting bill

RICHMOND — The House of Delegates has passed legislation that would allow Sunday hunting on private property in Virginia, a major victory for advocates who have tried for years to end the state’s ban.

Posted: January 28, 2014 - 11:53 am
Ahead of Obama's speech, Southwest Va. legislators blast proposed EPA rules

On the day of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Southwest Virginia legislators and coal industry advocates gathered in Richmond to blast the administration’s proposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Monday 01/27/2014
Posted: January 27, 2014 - 10:31 pm
Warner endorses Warner for Senate; Cline stays out of race

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., was endorsed for re-election by his Republican predecessor Monday, while the field of potential GOP challengers thinned.

Friday 01/17/2014
Posted: January 17, 2014 - 4:57 pm
Cline on U.S. Senate run: "I haven't ruled it out"

Ed Gillespie announced his candidacy Thursday for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Warner. But the former lobbyist, White House adviser and Republican National Committee chairman hasn't quite cleared the field for the GOP nomination, which will be decided at a June convention in Roanoke.

Tuesday 01/14/2014
Posted: January 14, 2014 - 4:27 pm
Griffith says "nuts!" to Waxman in coal debate

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, figured in a lively debate at today’s Energy and Power Subcommittee markup of a bill introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Electric Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826).

Thursday 01/09/2014
Posted: January 09, 2014 - 3:18 pm
Goodlatte meets with Obama over surveillance programs

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, met with President Obama today to discuss surveillance programs.

Wednesday 01/08/2014
Posted: January 08, 2014 - 11:03 am
Rasoul goes to work in Richmond

For Sam Rasoul, the transition from candidate to delegate happened overnight.

Monday 12/30/2013
Posted: December 30, 2013 - 6:54 pm
House speaker puts big bucks behind Octavia Johnson

The speaker of the House of Delegates is betting that Republican Octavia Johnson can flip the Roanoke-based 11th District seat to the GOP in next week's special election.

Posted: December 30, 2013 - 6:00 pm
Sen. Warner calls for hearing on consumer data security

In the aftermath of Target's highly-publicized data breach, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., wants the Senate Banking Committee to examine whether businesses and financial service providers are doing enough to protect consumer data from identity theft.

Posted: December 30, 2013 - 10:43 am
Yost introduces mental health legislation

Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, has introduced legislation to implement key mental health reforms that were recommended to Gov. Bob McDonnell following the death of state Sen. Creigh Deeds’ son.

Friday 12/13/2013
Posted: December 13, 2013 - 12:33 pm
McAuliffe names former rival Moran to cabinet post

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe today tapped former state Del. Brian Moran to serve as secretary of public safety in his administration, four years after they waged a bitter fight for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Thursday 12/12/2013
Posted: December 12, 2013 - 7:27 pm
Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt vote for bipartisan budget deal

All three Republican congressmen who represent parts of Southwest Virginia supported the bipartisan, two-year budget deal passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wednesday 12/11/2013
Posted: December 11, 2013 - 8:57 pm
Kaine says budget deal will help Virginia's economy

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said today that the budget agreement struck by House and Senate negotiators will boost Virginia's economy by averting another round of automatic defense cuts and removing the prospect of another federal government shutdown.

Thursday 12/05/2013
Posted: December 05, 2013 - 5:58 pm
House passes Goodlatte bill targeting 'patent trolls'

Wednesday 11/27/2013
Posted: November 27, 2013 - 6:35 pm
Wheaton exits House race

Political newcomer Keith Wheaton has suspended his short-lived campaign for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by retiring Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Posted: November 27, 2013 - 4:27 pm
Obenshain files petition for recount

Republican Mark Obenshain formally filed for a recount of the Nov. 5 election for attorney general today, initiating a court-supervised process for deciding the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history.

Monday 11/25/2013
Posted: November 25, 2013 - 10:12 am
Urban Professional League to host forum for House candidates

A Roanoke organization for African-American professionals will host a forum next week for the candidates seeking the 11th District House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by retiring Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Friday 11/22/2013
Posted: November 22, 2013 - 6:16 pm
Republicans set firehouse primary for 11th District House seat

Roanoke Republicans have formally set a firehouse primary for Dec. 10 to nominate a candidate for the special election for the 11th District House of Delegates seat.

Thursday 11/21/2013
Posted: November 21, 2013 - 3:02 pm
Kaine explains vote to end filibusters for judicial nominees

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., issued the following statement today after Senate Democrats exercised the so-called "nuclear option," forcing through a rules change that eliminates filibusters for most presidential nominations nominations.

Wednesday 11/20/2013
Posted: November 20, 2013 - 7:16 am
Trinkle to announce House candidacy today

Roanoke City Councilman David Trinkle will formally announce his candidacy for the 11th District House of Delegates seat this morning, putting him in a crowded contest for the seat being vacated by Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Monday 11/18/2013
Posted: November 18, 2013 - 6:48 pm
Cline introduces bill to repeal new transportation law

Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge County, didn't like the tax-fattened transportation funding bill that was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Posted: November 18, 2013 - 6:08 pm
Weekend announcements from House candidates

Four Democrats have announced plans to run for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Onzlee Ware, including two who formally jumped into the race over the weekend.

Posted: November 18, 2013 - 10:25 am
Wheaton in, Artis out as delegate race heats up

Democrat Keith Wheaton announced his candidacy for the 11th District House of Delegates seat over the weekend, while teacher and community activist Jeff Artis decided against getting in the race.

Friday 11/15/2013
Posted: November 15, 2013 - 3:33 pm
Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson to run for Ware's House seat

Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson has announced her candidacy for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Democrat Onzlee Ware. The story is here.

Posted: November 15, 2013 - 11:21 am
Wheaton considering bid for Ware's seat

Another Democrat is showing interest in the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Onzlee Ware of Roanoke.

Thursday 11/14/2013
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 8:09 pm
McAulliffe announces transition committee

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe named a 53-member, bipartisan transition committee today and tapped some well-known names from the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia.

Posted: November 14, 2013 - 7:27 pm
Republicans praise Onzlee Ware

On the day that he disclosed plans to resign from the House of Delegates, Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware is getting praised by leaders and lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Gov. Bob McDonnell, House Speaker Bill Howell and Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, issued statements this afternoon saluting Ware.

Posted: November 14, 2013 - 6:59 pm
Candidates emerge for Ware's seat

Two Roanoke Democrats are already gearing up to run for the House of Delegate seat held by Onzlee Ware, and a third may very well get into the race.

Posted: November 14, 2013 - 1:33 pm
Del. Onzlee Ware to resign from legislature

Roanoke Del. Onzlee Ware said this morning that he will resign from the House of Delegates and won't serve the sixth term that he was elected to last week. The Democrat said he is stepping down because of his mother's declining health.

Posted: November 14, 2013 - 10:27 am
Charity scammer with Virginia connection convicted in Ohio

An Ohio jury has convicted the mastermind of a fraudulent veterans charity that collected tens of millions of dollars from donors in several states, including Virginia.

Wednesday 11/13/2013
Posted: November 13, 2013 - 7:26 pm
Liberatarian's best numbers were in Alleghany and Craig counties

Libertarian Robert Sarvis was the strongest third-party candidate in a Virginia governor's race since William Story of the Conservative Party in 1965. Story took 13.4 percent of the vote that year, denying Mills Godwin (then a Democrat) a majority. This year, Sarvis took 6.5 percent of the vote.

Posted: November 13, 2013 - 7:11 pm
What the lessons from the Virginia governor's race?

What are the lessons from the Virginia governor's race?

Tuesday 11/12/2013
Posted: November 12, 2013 - 2:14 pm
Former vice presidential candidates coming to Roanoke Valley

Former vice presidential candidates Joe Lieberman and Sarah Palin will make public appearances in the Roanoke Valley in the coming weeks.

Friday 11/08/2013
Posted: November 08, 2013 - 5:09 pm
Cuccinelli merely reviewed options on McDonnell matter, spokesman says

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office responded today to the Sabato Crystal Ball's report that Cuccinelli would have considered invoking a never-before-used section of the state constitution against Gov. Bob McDonnell if McDonnell had been indicted in the gifts scandal that has clouded his administration. Spokesman Brian Gottstein said in an email today that Cuccinelli's office merely reviewed its options in the event that the governor was indicted.

Thursday 11/07/2013
Posted: November 07, 2013 - 4:16 pm
Would Cuccinelli have tried to remove McDonnell?

The post-election analysis of Larry Sabato and his team at the University of Virginia Center for Politics contains a juicy "what-if" tidbit.

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