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Bill seeks $1.4 million for man wrongly imprisoned 33 years for 1982 rape and murder

A bill pending in the General Assembly would award $1,450,000 in compensation to a man wrongly convicted of a 1982 rape and murder in Newport News.

Sunday 01/15/2017
Posted: January 15, 2017 - 11:00 pm
Long history precedes battle over direction of state economic development agency

McAuliffe and GOP legislators differ on how to strengthen oversight for partnership.

Posted: January 15, 2017 - 11:00 pm
Democrats rally in Richmond for Affordable Care Act

Holding her baby daughter Zoey, Ashley Hawkins of Richmond spoke at a Capitol Square rally on Sunday about how a pre-existing medical condition stopped her from getting health care until Congress passed the Affordable Care Act.

Posted: January 15, 2017 - 5:04 pm
Republican group makes record $5 million bet on Virginia governor’s race

RICHMOND — The Republican Governors Association just wrote a $5 million check — the largest single political donation in Virginia’s history — with the goal of putting a Republican in the governor’s mansion.

Posted: January 15, 2017 - 12:00 am
Fairfax delegate champions Roanoke's effort to get added to long-gun ban

RICHMOND — A Northern Virginia legislator has carried Roanoke’s fight against the open carry of loaded long guns to the General Assembly.

Saturday 01/14/2017
Posted: January 14, 2017 - 6:32 pm
Electric car maker GreenTech, co-founded by McAuliffe, lays off Mississippi workers

JACKSON, Miss. — The future of an electric car maker that once had grand promises for a corner of the Mississippi Delta is growing even murkier.

Posted: January 14, 2017 - 3:14 pm
Republican gubernatorial hopeful promises a return to economic growth

About 75 people attended a Roanoke rally Saturday for Ed Gillespie, one of four candidates for the Republican nomination for Virginia governor.

Posted: January 14, 2017 - 10:30 am
Vogel says Reeves tried to force her out of lieutenant governor's race; he denies it

State Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel on Friday said Sen. Bryce E. Reeves — her GOP colleague and rival in the 2017 primary for lieutenant governor — tried to force her out of the race.

Posted: January 14, 2017 - 5:00 am
Montgomery Co. Electoral Board discussing new precincts

CHRISTIANSBURG — The Montgomery County Electoral Board is discussing the creation of more voting precincts or adjustment of precinct boundary lines within magisterial districts to ease greater election traffic resulting from the county’s ongoing p...

Posted: January 14, 2017 - 12:00 am
State house bill would allow recall of elected officials

A proposed Virginia House of Delegates bill would institute recall elections in the commonwealth for the first time.

Friday 01/13/2017
Posted: January 13, 2017 - 7:51 pm
Herring, religious leaders promote legislation, website to combat hate crimes

Citing a rise in hate crimes, Attorney General Mark Herring joined with religious leaders and several Democratic lawmakers Friday to call for new laws and announce the website www.NoHate

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 6:07 pm
Mental health bills drafted after Jamycheal Mitchell's death pass first hurdle

RICHMOND — Several bills drafted in the wake of a mentally ill man’s unexplained death at Hampton Roads Regional Jail passed the first of many hurdles in the General Assembly Friday morning.

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 5:45 pm
Roanoke County GOP opts for primary in supervisor races

For the first time in eight years, Roanoke County Republicans are going with a primary to pick their next slate of nominees for the board of supervisors.

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 2:43 pm
Ricky Javon Gray asks appeals court to halt execution

Ricky Javon Gray is asking a federal appeals court to block his execution set for Wednesday, alleging that the state's lethal injection plans violate constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 1:34 pm
Jane Dittmar to join Toscano as chief of staff

Dittmar served as chairwoman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 12:45 pm
Panel OKs study of Virginia state employee compensation

The debate over state employee pay is likely to widen into a study of the total compensation Virginia provides its workers and how that compares to the competitive marketplace.

Posted: January 13, 2017 - 12:15 pm
General Assembly group passes COPN reform principles

The Joint Working Group on Certificate of Public Need - or COPN - Reform voted today to approve nine principles that will act as guidelines toward adopting legislation for COPN reform.

Thursday 01/12/2017
Posted: January 12, 2017 - 8:04 pm
Local leaders fear proposed bill could derail Roanoke valley municipal broadband

A state House bill could limit municipal broadband initiatives in Virginia and derail expansion in the Roanoke Valley less than a year after the local authority landed its first customer.

Posted: January 12, 2017 - 4:15 pm
'It's time for men to be men:' Conservatives pressure GOP lawmakers to pass Virginia transgender bathroom bill

Family-values conservatives turned up the pressure on Virginia Republican lawmakers Thursday over a controversial transgender bathroom bill, holding a news conference at the Capitol to call for an up-or-down vote.

Updated: January 12, 2017 - 4:31 pm
Bills before General Assembly would put new limits on school suspensions

The General Assembly could change how school suspensions are handled if an effort passes that would assure students are punished and not losing too much school time because of suspensions.

Updated: January 12, 2017 - 3:22 pm
Jobs, economic development would cure coalfields' school funding ills, Gov. Terry McAuliffe says

RICHMOND — New jobs and economic development are key to hauling schools in Southwest Virginia’s coalfields out of a dire financial situation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday.

Posted: January 12, 2017 - 5:30 am
Tuck, King remain in Montgomery Co. board leadership roles

CHRISTIANSBURG — The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, on separate 7-0 votes Monday, re-appointed Republicans Chris Tuck as chairman and Todd King as vice chairman.

Wednesday 01/11/2017
Posted: January 11, 2017 - 11:00 pm
Senate Republicans want to shift money from proposed new initiatives to state police

The General Assembly had not even convened when Senate Republicans sent a message to Gov. Terry McAuliffe to put money into state police salaries inside of hiring people for new public safety and mental health initiatives.

Posted: January 11, 2017 - 9:48 pm
Entering final General Assembly session, McAuliffe strikes collaborative note

RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe opened the 2017 General Assembly session Wednesday night with an ode to bipartisanship over the past three years of divided government and a renewed plea for cooperation in the year ahead.

Posted: January 11, 2017 - 5:30 pm
State, local agencies respond to wrongful death lawsuit filed by Sen. Creigh Deeds

WARM SPRINGS — Virginia’s mental health agency and its local counterpart in Bath County say they cannot be held legally responsible for the suicide of a senator’s son.

Posted: January 11, 2017 - 12:37 pm
Ricky Gray apologizes, more than 50 mental health professionals urge clemency

Not long after Ricky Javon Gray was arrested and confessed to a murder spree that left seven dead in Richmond he apologized and told police, "I just want to die."

Posted: January 11, 2017 - 11:49 am
Virginia Capitol's updated landmark designation drops 'Capitol of Confederacy'

Mr. Jefferson's Capitol is no longer the Capitol of the Confederacy.

Posted: January 11, 2017 - 12:08 am
Governor's race looms over McAuliffe's final session

RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe may have hoped for some surprise good news in Tuesday’s special General Assembly elections, but tonight he’ll deliver his final State of the Commonwealth speech facing the same daunting political landscape.

Tuesday 01/10/2017
Posted: January 10, 2017 - 6:12 pm
McAuliffe replaces parole board chairwoman in effort to speed reforms

Gov. Terry McAuliffe dumped the chairwoman of the Virginia Parole Board amid concerns that the five-member panel was not moving quickly enough on reforms proposed in 2015.

Posted: January 10, 2017 - 5:00 pm
Virginia hospitals face uncertainty in Washington and Richmond

State lawmakers could strip regulations that protect hospitals from competition just when the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association is asking for a time out in Richmond.

Posted: January 10, 2017 - 3:00 pm
Voters continue to report problems after ballot shortage in Lynchburg during special election

Although some Lynchburg city precincts ran out of paper ballots by 11 a.m. Tuesday, no valid city voter has been turned away from the special election for the 22nd Senate District, according to Registrar Karen Patterson.

Posted: January 10, 2017 - 10:40 am
Control of Virginia Senate at stake in special elections today

RICHMOND (AP) — Virginia voters are picking two state senators in a special election that could effectively hand control of that chamber from Republicans to Democrats.

Monday 01/09/2017
Posted: January 09, 2017 - 9:04 pm
Virginia Democratic delegates to seek new student loan authority

RICHMOND — The state House Democratic Caucus is backing a plan to get the state back into the business of making student loans.

Posted: January 09, 2017 - 9:05 pm
Virginia looking for Medicaid savings, but fearing cuts from repeal of health law

RICHMOND — Virginia could lose more than $314 million from its general fund budget if the new Congress and president make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to estimates by the state’s Medicaid director.

Posted: January 09, 2017 - 7:56 pm
Contender for Virginia governor vows to bring 'blunt force trauma' to rigged system

RICHMOND — The owner of a craft distillery formally announced his candidacy for Virginia governor Monday, promising to bring "blunt force trauma" to a rigged political system.

Posted: January 09, 2017 - 11:00 am
General Assembly Building — after one final session — will be demolished this year

The General Assembly Building on Capitol Square will be replaced with a new structure by 2021. Meanwhile, legislators and committees will be housed in temporary quarters.

Sunday 01/08/2017
Posted: January 08, 2017 - 10:17 pm
For higher ed officials, General Assembly session offers few dollars to chase

This winter’s short legislative session and budget constraints likely will quell some of the hot-topic campus issues that have absorbed the General Assembly in recent years, keeping the focus clearly on the bottom line for students and universities.

Posted: January 08, 2017 - 10:16 pm
Lawmakers to weigh enhancing jail oversight, boosting mental health treatment of inmates

Several inconclusive investigations into Jamycheal Mitchell’s death at Hampton Roads Regional Jail have sharpened a focus on issues relating to mental health in jails and facility oversight heading into the 2017 General Assembly session.

Posted: January 08, 2017 - 8:06 pm
Mental health subcommittee hopes to take a bite out of widespread systemic problems

The work of the joint subcommittee studying mental health reform is years away from completion, but this session of the General Assembly includes proposals that were born out of the group’s heaviest lifting yet.

Posted: January 08, 2017 - 12:00 am
Casey: Goodlatte's office phones ring in the new year

Last week, Rep. Bob Goodlatte tried to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics. The question is, why? Read below, as some imaginary but curious constituents demand answers.

Posted: January 08, 2017 - 12:00 am
Coalfields schools in dire financial straits as families, funding leave

In the mountains where an entire economy depends on coal, public schools have reached a tipping point.

One after another, districts have consolidated schools, sending students home on hour-long bus rides.

They’ve delayed bus replacements and building repairs, like the elementary school roof that buzzards started tearing apart and repurposing for nests.

Schools have cut electives.

Retiring teachers, counselors, librarians and aides haven’t been replaced, and neither have decade-old textbooks.

Every cut far Southwest Virginia school districts make picks the budget closer to the bone. Everything is on the table – in Dickenson County, the school board heard a proposal last year that would have saved about $40.

“We’re keeping our school division together with a prayer and duct tape,” Dickenson Superintendent Haydee Robinson said.

Posted: January 08, 2017 - 12:00 am
Rush of bills filed as General Assembly opens this week

State legislators will flock to Richmond this week to gear up for a short General Assembly session that starts Wednesday.

Friday 01/06/2017
Posted: January 06, 2017 - 6:30 pm
Former Biden chief of staff files to run for Va. lieutenant governor

A former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden filed paperwork Friday to run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, lending some political star power to a race that now has three Democrats and three Republicans vying for the office.

Posted: January 06, 2017 - 11:35 am
House Republicans pitch plans for economic development, cutting regulation

Republicans in the House of Delegates have their own plan for correcting flaws in Virginia’s economic development programs, including a delay in creating a separate international trade corporation that the General Assembly approved last year.

Thursday 01/05/2017
Posted: January 05, 2017 - 9:45 pm
McAuliffe orders state contractors to adhere to anti-bias policy, including sexual orientation, gender identity

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday signed an executive order requiring future contractors that do business with the Executive Branch to adhere to a nondiscrimination policy that includes bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Posted: January 05, 2017 - 4:55 pm
Roanoke treasurer announces she will seek nomination to run for re-election in November

Roanoke’s incumbent treasurer on Thursday became the first of the city’s constitutional officers to announce re-election plans.

Posted: January 05, 2017 - 1:45 pm
Sen. Tim Kaine leads push to block quick repeal of health care law

Sen. Tim Kaine took a leading role today in a Democratic effort to block the quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act and instead advocate reforms to the law that would protect access to health care, as well as affordability and quality of care.

Posted: January 05, 2017 - 10:45 am
McAuliffe orders state contractors to adhere to anti-bias policy, including sexual orientation, gender identity

The order, which takes effect immediately, covers all future state contractors with the Executive Branch.

Posted: January 05, 2017 - 9:30 am
Griffith leads House GOP revival of 1876 rule that could allow cutting federal worker salaries to $1

WASHINGTON — House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civ...

Posted: January 05, 2017 - 7:51 am
Sam Rasoul, Virginia's only Muslim legislator, has a plan to help Dems connect with Trump voters

Most everyone is seated with a paper plate full of chicken or ham rolls when Sam Rasoul takes his spot before the group, ready to start.

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