VaNews

Tuesday March 28, 2017


Executive Branch


MCAULIFFE LOOKS TO REINSTATE ONE-HANDGUN-A-MONTH LAW

Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he wants to re-institute a law limiting gun sales to one handgun a month. The governor, a Democrat, said Monday he was adding an amendment an unrelated bill related to concealed carry permits to include a provision re-instituting a 1993 one-handgun-a-month law. McAuliffe's proposal has little chance of passing the GOP-controlled General Assembly.



GOV. MCAULIFFE'S PROPOSAL TO RESTORE VIRGINIA'S ONE-GUN-A-MONTH LAW UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED

By ALI ROCKETT AND GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed a legislative amendment that would restore Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month limit. It’s not likely to pass in the General Assembly, though.



MCAULIFFE ATTEMPTS TO REVIVE VIRGINIA’S ‘ONE-GUN-A-MONTH’ LAW

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A few weeks after police recorded an alleged gunrunner boasting about how lax Virginia’s gun laws are, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has proposed an amendment that would restore the state’s policy of allowing no more than one handgun purchase per month. “Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk,” McAuliffe said in announcing the proposed amendment. He cited the gunrunning case from earlier this month, in which 24 people — nearly all from Virginia — were charged with smuggling more than 200 weapons to New York City.



MCAULIFFE SIGNS LEGISLATION TO ENABLE LOCAL REGULATION OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed legislation that gives local governments more power to regulate short-term rentals, such as rooms offered for rent by homeowners on the popular online platform Airbnb. McAuliffe on Friday approved Senate Bill 1578, which was sponsored in the recent General Assembly session by Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City.



GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE SIGNS LEGISLATION TO ENABLE LOCAL REGULATION OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed legislation that gives local governments more power to regulate short-term rentals, such as rooms offered for rent by homeowners on the popular online platform Airbnb. McAuliffe on Friday approved Senate Bill 1578, which was sponsored in the recent General Assembly session by Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment , R-James City.



MCAULIFFE: IF OBAMACARE IS HERE TO STAY, THEN IT’S TIME TO EXPAND MEDICAID

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

RICHMOND — The failure of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare has emboldened Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to renew his stalled crusade to expand Medi­caid in Virginia. On Monday, he proposed an amendment to state budget language to give him power to set an expansion in motion, and called on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to immediately begin making plans. But Republican legislators were unmoved by the plea, saying they would reject the amendment and that they stood firm against expanding Medicaid.



MCAULIFFE SAYS 'NO MORE EXCUSES' NOT TO EXPAND MEDICAID AFTER TRUMP PLAN FAILURE

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is making another bid to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program, saying that state Republican lawmakers have “no more excuses” in the aftermath of the failed plan by President Donald Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. McAuliffe said Monday that he will propose to restore a provision that General Assembly Republicans stripped from the state budget that would give him authority to accept federal money to expand health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians.



AFTER ACA REPEAL FAILS, MCAULIFFE RENEWS MEDICAID EXPANSION PUSH

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Following a GOP failure to repeal Obamacare, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday he will again push Medicaid expansion in Virginia, an effort Republican leaders have declared dead on arrival for the umpteenth time but which will no doubt figure into coming state elections.



MCAULIFFE RENEWS PUSH FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION IN VIRGINIA

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is renewing his push to expand Medicaid coverage, saying state Republicans have no excuses left after President Donald Trump’s failed attempt to overhaul health care. But the governor is likely facing the same long odds he’s faced throughout his time in office, as top state GOP lawmakers say their opposition to Medicaid expansion has not changed.



MCAULIFFE VETOES ANTI-SANCTUARY CITIES BILL

Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation banning localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced his veto Monday, saying the measure would stoke fears among the state's immigrant communities. He had promised to veto the measure when it passed the GOP-controlled General Assembly in February.



NEW LAWS TARGET PUPPY MILLS AND ALLOW LIFETIME PET LICENSES IN VIRGINIA

By ASHLEY LUCK, VCU Capital News Service

Virginia soon will have three new laws that will impact its furry residents and their owners. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed bills that will bar pet stores from buying dogs from unscrupulous sellers, allow local governments to offer lifetime pet licenses and change the legal description of a “dangerous dog.” McAuliffe signed the legislation last week. The bills will take effect July 1.



MCAULIFFE REWRITES FOIA BILL ON SUICIDE INVESTIGATIONS

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has amended legislation that would have required police to release suicide investigation records to family members, allowing them to release a summary instead. Senate Bill 1102 grew out of at least two cases where law enforcement refused to release records to the families of people who died in apparent suicides. When the bill left the General Assembly, on a unanimous vote, it required departments to release records to immediate family once they've determined no charges will be initiated. McAuliffe is changing that to require release of a case summary instead of the actual letters.



MCAULIFFE PROPOSES GIVING ALEXANDRIA MORE TIME TO FIX SEWAGE DISCHARGE PROBLEM

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing to give the city of Alexandria until 2027 to stop millions of gallons of raw sewage from entering the Potomac River, two years beyond a deadline set under legislation passed by the General Assembly, his office said Monday. In amendments to a state bill that seeks to stop decades of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay caused by combined sewer pipes in Alexandria and other jurisdictions, McAuliffe (D) also proposes changing the start date for repairs to July 2024 from July 2023.

General Assembly


RECENT LAW ALLOWING ARMED SCHOOL SECURITY OFFICERS WILL PROBABLY HAVE LITTLE EFFECT LOCALLY

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill this month that allows some former law enforcement officers to carry firearms while working as security guards for public schools. The law, which takes effect July 1, says the ex-officers must have been employed in Virginia and retired or resigned in “good standing” within the last 10 years. The new law applies to civilian security officers hired by schools. Sheriff’s deputies assigned as school resource officers are already allowed to carry weapons on school grounds.

State Elections


GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE STEWART TONES DOWN MESSAGE AT LU CONVOCATION

By ALEX ROHR, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Brash Republican gubernatorial hopeful Corey Stewart toned down his message Monday befitting the evangelical Liberty University crowd he addressed. Stewart has touted himself as “Trump before Trump was Trump,” referring to President Donald Trump’s rise in GOP politics. He has spent much of his campaign attacking presumed frontrunner and longtime GOP strategist Ed Gillespie as “Establishment Ed.”



PARRISH TAKES A STAB AT 50TH DISTRICT SEAT

By ALEX KOMA, Sun Gazette

Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish is making another run for the General Assembly, mounting a bid to replace Republican Del. Jackson Miller in the House's 50th District and fill the seat once held by his father for decades. The longtime Republican mayor narrowly beat the March 30 filing deadline to pay his fees and kick off his candidacy, according to Natalia Taylor, the city’s deputy voter registrar. It will be up to the state’s Department of Elections and Republican party to formally confirm who will appear on the ballot by early April, Taylor added.



BEDFORD BUSINESSWOMAN LAUNCHES RUN FOR 19TH DISTRICT HOUSE SEAT

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A Bedford County businesswoman announced Monday that she will run as a Democrat for the 19th District seat in the House of Delegates. Political newcomer Reagan Flaherty will challenge Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt, for the job he has held since 2014 representing Alleghany and Botetourt counties, Covington and part of Bedford County.



WOMEN'S MARCH ORGANIZER PLANS CHALLENGE TO AUSTIN IN 19TH HOUSE DISTRICT

By ALEX ROHR, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

One of Virginia’s Women’s March on Washington organizers announced her candidacy for the 19th House of Delegates Democratic nomination Monday. Reagan Flaherty, the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce board’s immediate past chairwoman and Athletic Boosters of Liberty High School officer, announced at the high school Monday she intends to challenge Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt. Austin needed a challenger after running unopposed in 2015, she said.

Congress


COMSTOCK THANKED FOR REPEALING OBAMACARE IN TV AD BLUNDER

By CHANTALLE EDMUNDS, Loudoun Times

Basketball fans tuning into March Madness Friday night may have caught a TV ad applauding Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.-10th) for her role in repealing Obamacare. The problem: Obamacare survived Friday's attempt at repeal, and even if a vote were held (Republicans eventually pulled the bill after it was clear they didn't have the votes), Comstock intended to vote no. The ads from the American Action Network, a conservative-leaning advocacy group, asked viewers to call their member of Congress to thank them for repealing the Affordable Act.



WITH TOWN HALL LOOMING, GARRETT MAKING HIS MARK

By MICHAEL BRAGG, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

With his first live town hall just days away, Rep. Tom Garrett, R-5th, already has made a name for himself, both locally and nationally, for his legislative actions and for interactions with constituents and local organizations. The conservative congressman, who took office in early January, has faced steady pressure in recent months to hold a town hall meeting to hear from constituents who may not have voted for him but still want to communicate their concerns to their elected official. But even after scheduling the event, Garrett has faced criticism for the logistics.

Transportation


UBER IS BETTING D.C. COMMUTERS ARE WILLING TO PAY TO SLUG

By FAIZ SIDDIQUI , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Uber will use Northern Virginia as a testing ground for a new carpooling feature, described by the company as “digital slug lines.” And while the news is drawing applause in the high-tech corridor’s business community, the region’s sluggers — a dedicated group of commuters who pool together to use HOV lanes to save time and money — have been less enthusiastic, with reaction ranging from flattery to scorn.

Higher Education


NCI LOOKS TO EXPAND ACCESS, OUTREACH

By AMIE KNOWLES, Martinsville Bulletin

How do you let people in and outside of the Martinsville community know about the classes being held at the New College Institute? That was the question considered Monday at a meeting of NCI’s Educational Outreach Committee. The group met in Chatham to talk about the challenges the group faces, as well as future opportunities.

Virginia Other


MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES FRACKING BAN

By PAMELA WOOD, Baltimore Sun

The Maryland General Assembly on Monday gave final passage to a ban on fracking in the state, sending the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan for his promised signature. Environmental advocates and climate change activists have pressed for years to ban the controversial form of drilling for natural gas also known as hydraulic fracturing, which had been proposed in Western Maryland.

Local


PETERSBURG CONSULTANTS PRESENT BALANCED BUDGET CALLING FOR RESTRUCTURING, SMALLER WORKFORCE

By K. BURNELL EVANS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

PETERSBURG — Consultants hired to pull Petersburg from the brink of financial ruin unveiled a spending plan for the next fiscal year on Monday that they said would put the city on the path to stability. The Cliffs Notes version, from interim City Manager Tom Tyrrell: “We’ve been messaging this for months, ‘It’s bad, it’s bad, it’s bad,’ he said. “Here’s the headline: ‘It’s bad.’”



A VETERAN WANTS TO PARK HIS MILITARY TRUCK AT HIS HOME. VIRGINIA BEACH SAYS NO.

By MECHELLE HANKERSON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Mitch Powell shipped out of Fort Bragg to Iraq for the first time in 2004. He served two tours in Iraq handling weapons on the front lines and riding around in big, M35 cargo trucks. In 2006, Powell returned home and began shopping for a decommissioned vehicle. The 44-year-old has been interested in military equipment since he was a kid, and his service only fed his interest. He found an old M35 through a seller in Norfolk, and it was one of the trucks that went to Iraq with him during his first deployment.



BUSINESS FIGURES TOUT SMART ROAD EXPANSION AS CRITICAL TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

By YANN RANAIVO, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Several leading business figures in the Roanoke and New River valleys came out Monday night in support of a request to remove the protection of some Ellett Valley land to pave the way for an expansion of the Smart Road. Their supportive comments were heard during a public hearing hosted by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, which will eventually decide whether or not to approve the request from the Virginia Tech Foundation.

TV/Radio


'GO VIRGINIA' TRYING TO GET THE COMMONWEALTH TO DIVERSIFY INDUSTRY

By JANSON SILVERS, WHSV

Folks involved with the private sector are trying to grow different kinds of businesses in Virginia, and people in the Valley are jumping on board. GO Virginia is a new program working to get the private sector to think differently, and collaborate with other localities.



HOW IS THE ACA FARING IN VIRGINIA?

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

Republicans say the Affordable Care Act is in a “death spiral,” and President Trump is expecting the system to “explode.” But what is the state of the newly created health-insurance exchanges in Virginia? Since the Affordable Care Act created a new exchange for people who could not afford health insurance, about 400,000 people in Virginia signed up and now have health insurance.

Online News


PERRIELLO PULLS EVEN WITH NORTHAM IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FOR GOVERNOR, CNU POLL FINDS

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrats Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello are neck-and-neck in their contest to earn their party's nomination in the Virginia governor's race, according to a new poll by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy that found a split among Democratic voters based on who they supported in last year's presidential primary.



VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE POLL: DEMOCRAT PERRIELLO RISES, NOW TIED WITH NORTHAM

By FENIT NIRAPPIL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello is gaining ground and is tied with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, according to a new survey released Tuesday, while Republican Ed Gillespie is expanding his lead. Perriello and Northam each drew support from 26 percent of Democratic-leaning voters in the poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Just under half of those surveyed for the Democratic primary were undecided.



TOM PERRIELLO RAISES MONEY OFF DEFEAT OF GOP HEALTH CARE BILL

By SETH MCLAUGHLIN, Washington Times

A Democratic candidate for governor is raising money off of the GOP’s failure to pass an overhaul of the health care system. Former Rep. Tom Perriello, who is running against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, blasted out a “the resistance is working” fundraising email attributing the House GOP’s decision to pull its plan to repeal Obamacare last week to the opposition from grassroots activists.



CORDASCO IN FOR REMATCH V. MULLIN

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Heather Cordasco, a former Williamsburg-James City County school board member the Daily Press profiled just this past weekend because she donated a kidney to a friend, will run as expected in the Peninsula's 93rd District. Cordasco, a Republican, will face Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, for the second time in a year. Mullin bested her by more than 7 percentage points last year in a special election to replace now state Sen. Monty Mason in this seat.



DEMOCRATS EYE COMSTOCK'S SWING SEAT AFTER OBAMACARE REPEAL FAILURE

By BRIANNA EHLEY, Politico

Rep. Barbara Comstock dodged constituents, declined town halls and avoided taking a public stance on the Republican Party’s increasingly unpopular health care bill in the months leading up to its collapse. Her last-minute decision to oppose it — after other GOP moderates had spoken out and sealed the bill’s doom — is unlikely to protect her in 2018. Democrats had already smelled blood, targeting Comstock after Hillary Clinton won her increasingly purple district in northern Virginia by 10 percentage points.



TRUMP SUPPORTERS CALL FOR KAINE'S SON AND OTHER PROTESTERS TO BE PROSECUTED

By OLIVIA BEAVERS, The Hill

Supporters of President Trump called for local officials in Minnesota to prosecute protesters who disrupted a Trump rally earlier this month, including the son of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Protesters interrupted the March 4 rally in St. Paul, blowing air horns, tossing smoke bombs into the crowd and clashing with attendees and security. Five of the protesters were arrested, including Linwood “Woody” Kaine, 24.



PROFFER CHANGE REQUESTS CONTRIBUTE TO COUNTY BACKLOG; POLICY TO BE REVISED

By JONATHAN SPIERS, Richmond BizSense

The discussion about cash proffers in Chesterfield County continues. Six months after cutting its proffer fees in half – and putting those payments toward road improvements specifically – an influx of requests from developers wanting to reduce their payments is testing staff resources and prompting a second look at the county’s revised policy.


Editorials


MOSQUE SUIT A CHANCE FOR LEARNING

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Culpeper case in which a proposed mosque was denied a relatively routine permit is said to be heading for a settlement. Both sides have requested mediation, after one day in court. That may be the best outcome for all concerned. The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors denied a permit last year to allow the Islamic Center of Culpeper to use a pump-and-haul system for sewage disposal.



100 VETOES POLITICAL FODDER FOR GOVERNOR'S RACE

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

Without question, politics in 2017 is defined by partisanship, and a brief examination of happenings on the state level provide a stark reminder of how divided our divided government really is. Last week, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made history when he got out his veto pen for the 91st time, surpassing the record of 90 vetoes in a term set by former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who served from 1998-2002. Not one to rest on his laurels, Gov. McAuliffe moved that total up to 97 prior to the end of that very same day. On Monday, he vetoed three bills. New total: 100.



LONG SHOT TOM PERRIELLO COULD HIT DEMOCRATIC BULL'S EYE

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Tom Perriello entered the Democratic gubernatorial sweepstakes late. He seemed a long shot at best. After serving one term in the House of Representatives (he lost his 2010 re-election bid), he held posts in the Obama administration. He lacked a statewide identity. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam appeared the prohibitive favorite, especially after Attorney General Mark Herring decided to run for re-election instead of for the governorship.



INEQUALITY IN PENALTIES

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Drug abuse and the crime related to it long were associated with inner cities. Politicians emphasized three-strikes-and-you’re-out legislation. Public policy focused on penalties. Drug users were sent to jail. The opioid crisis has affected communities large and small. The focus switched from imprisonment to treatment. Addicts were no longer criminals but troubled individuals in need of healing.

Op-Ed


MORSE: GILLESPIE COMES INTO FOCUS

By GORDON MORSE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie’s tax proposal raises several questions at the onset, separate from the merits of the proposal itself: a cut to a 10 percent income tax rate for everybody. Does Gillespie have sufficient political standing in the commonwealth to credibly advance reform of what has been characterized as “one of the oldest, continuously functioning state income taxes in the nation?”

Gordon C. Morse, a former Pilot associate editor, is a regular contributor.