VaNews

Friday June 23, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

CGI

As a trusted IT Partner and top Virginia employer for 40+ years, CGI offers deep experience, fresh perspective and proven commitment to the Commonwealth. cgi.com/virginia

General Assembly


STATE SAYS SENATE HEALTH PLAN PUTS VIRGINIA AT DISADVANTAGE, 'HARSHER' THAN HOUSE PROPOSAL

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

Virginia legislative budget leaders had a quick response to a new health care plan proposed by Republicans in the U.S. Senate — please don’t do what you just did. The Republican co-chairmen of the Joint Subcommittee for Health and Human Resources Oversight said Thursday that the Senate’s current proposal “fails to address the inequities in the federal funding allocation between states” for the Medicaid program that Virginia has operated in partnership with the federal government for a half-century.



PROPOSED MEDICAID CUTS COULD IMPACT HAMPTON ROADS' SCHOOLS

By JANE HAMMOND, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Millions of federal dollars that help special needs children receive services they need to attend public school could be cut in the proposed health care bill released Thursday by Senate Republicans. The similar House-approved American Health Care Act and President Donald Trump's proposed budget could cut Medicaid spending by $1.3 trillion over the next decade, a report from U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine's office said Wednesday.

McDonnell Case


MCDONNELL REFLECTS ON 'PUBLIC FRYING PAN'

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Taking the stage as if for a State of the Commonwealth address, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell greeted members of the state Senate, House of Delegates and Supreme Court Thursday at Radford University. But unlike the commonwealth’s elected and appointed public officials, the politicos in the audience attend Virginia high schools. In front of about 800 students at the Virginia Boys State session, McDonnell urged the young men to live one day at a time and lead with empathy — lessons he said he learned from his public corruption scandal.

State Elections


VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES TRADE BARBS OVER SENATE HEALTH CARE BILL

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

The federal debate over overhauling the American health-care system is seeping into Virginia’s gubernatorial contest, with both candidates trading barbs over the bill unveiled by Senate leadership on Thursday.



NORTHAM DENOUNCES SENATE GOP HEALTH CARE BILL; GILLESPIE SAYS HE'LL REVIEW EFFECT ON VA.

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Senate Republicans’ release of their health care proposal highlighted what is likely to be a key issue in the race for governor, especially if Congress and President Donald Trump sign off on legislation giving states more latitude to set their own approach. Ed Gillespie, the GOP nominee for governor, said in a statement that he looks forward to “thoroughly reviewing” the proposal’s effect on Virginia. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee, denounced the Senate GOP bill and called on Gillespie to clarify his position.



OBAMA PLANS TO CAMPAIGN FOR VA. DEM GOV NOMINEE

By LISA HAGEN , The Hill

385 Obama plans to campaign for Va. Dem gov nominee © Getty Images Former President Obama plans to return to the political spotlight this fall by hitting the campaign trail for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee running for Virginia governor. This will be Obama’s first time campaigning since he left the White House and stumped for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, Obama and Northam’s offices confirmed to the Huffington Post.



OBAMA RETURNING TO CAMPAIGN TRAIL TO STUMP FOR NORTHAM IN VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE

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

Former president Barack Obama is making his first campaign foray of 2017, agreeing to stump for Democrat Ralph Northam in his bid to be Virginia’s next governor. David Turner, a spokesman for Northam, said the former president agreed this week to hit the campaign trail for Northam, but said he wouldn’t “go into any further detail about the private conversations that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam had with President Barack Obama.”



FOUR-TERM INCUMBENT LEMUNYON TO FACE FORMER REPUBLICAN

By MICHAEL LEE POPE, Fairfax Connection

Karrie Delaney knows a thing or two about Republican politics. Back in 2004, she was appointed to the West Melbourne City Council in Florida. The following year, according to public records in the Sunshine State, she registered as a Republican. But she lost the election that year after she voted higher taxes. Now she’s running as a Democrat against four-term incumbent Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67),



DECIDING WHICH DELEGATE IS RIGHT FOR YOU

By NATALIE MILLER, Caroline Progress

This November, Virginia residents will elect their Delegates to represent them in the Virginia House of Delegates. Candidates from each party have come forward to announce their candidacy to represent portions of Hanover, Caroline, and Spotsylvania Counties; and the Town of Ashland in the 55th District. Incumbent Del. Hyland F. “Buddy” Fowler, Jr. announced last month that he will seek re-election...

Congress


KAINE TALKS HEALTH CARE DURING VISIT TO FREE CLINIC OF CULPEPER

By ALICE FELTS , Culpeper Times

Brenda Roy doesn’t have health insurance. A lifelong Culpeper resident, Roy, 59, only had one place to turn – The Free Clinic of Culpeper. Since she started to coming to the clinic two years ago, Roy has seen her health return and the clinic helped her get her blood pressure issues under control. She told her story last Friday to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., during his visit to the Free Clinic.



VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE SENATORS REACT TO HEALTH CARE BILL

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Virginia’s two Democratic U.S. senators were quick to blast the proposed health care bill on Thursday while Tennessee’s two Republican senators said there’s a need to repeal and resolve the Affordable Care Act currently in place.



FRESHMAN CONGRESSMAN SEES FIRST BILL THROUGH TO PASSAGE ON HOUSE FLOOR

Times-Virginian

Congressman Tom Garrett (VA-05) saw his first bill through to passage on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 1282 - the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acquisition Review Board Act of 2017 - seeks to save taxpayer dollars by providing common sense reform to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within the DHS' acquisition programs.

Economy/Business


DOMINION LOOKS TO SITE PUMPED STORAGE POWER PLANT

By JENAY TATE, Coalfield Progress (Subscription Required)

Dominion Energy public relations staff are working the media circuit to get word out about the company's pumped storage hydroelectric power plant plans in the coalfields and they don't necessarily involve underground mine works. Any project would most certainly have a surface reservoir, company spokesman Greg Edwards said in a Tuesday interview, but where any of this might be located is unknown now except that it would be in the coalfields region, as set forth in legislation passed in the most recent session of the Virginia General Assembly.



LEE COUNTY HOSPITAL BOARD SEEKS TO EASE CONCERNS ABOUT HEALTH CENTER REOPENING

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The Lee County Hospital Authority members on Thursday brushed aside any concerns they might have had about a startup company’s ability to reopen the community’s hospital. After meeting in a closed session with their attorney and Americore Health CEO Grant White, board vice chairman Ronnie Montgomery said they expect to have a final financial agreement worked out within a few weeks.

Transportation


21 D.C.-AREA BUSINESS GROUPS AGREE ON PLAN TO FIX METRO’S FINANCES, GOVERNANCE

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Washington region’s business community overcame months of internal differences Thursday and agreed on a plan to fix Metro by giving it dedicated funding and restructuring its board so it functions more like that of a private company.



VIRGINIA STATE POLICE CONFIRMS INVESTIGATION OF NEWPORT NEWS AIRPORT

By PETER DUJARDIN AND REEMA AMIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Virginia State Police have launched "an investigation into past business practices" at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, a spokeswoman for the agency has confirmed.

Virginia Other


FERC TO ISSUE FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT TODAY FOR MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE

By DUNCAN ADAMS, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

More than three years ago, EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy announced plans to form a joint venture to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline — a 42-inch diameter buried pipeline that would transport natural gas at high pressure. A major milestone in the deeply controversial pipeline is expected to be realized later today, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to issue the project's final environmental impact statement.



PIPELINE 'ASTROTURFING' CONTINUES

Highland Recorder

In a practice known as astroturfing, mail generated to influence approval of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline pours into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission every business day. FERC has received more than 500 identical messages since May 31 calling for rejection of efforts to halt the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.



MAYOR STONEY: RICHMOND’S CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS CAN STAY, BUT ‘WHOLE STORY’ MUST BE TOLD

By NED OLIVER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Saying it’s time to “set the historical record straight,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Thursday that he has appointed a 10-member commission to study ways to add context to the city’s public memorials to the Confederacy on Monument Avenue, likely with new historical signage.



RICHMOND MAYOR VOWS TO CONFRONT TRIBUTES TO SOUTHERN CIVIL WAR FIGURES

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The young African American mayor of the onetime capital of the Confederacy vowed Thursday to confront his city’s towering tributes to Southern Civil War figures with words instead of wrecking balls.


Today's Sponsor:

CGI

As a trusted IT Partner and top Virginia employer for 40+ years, CGI offers deep experience, fresh perspective and proven commitment to the Commonwealth. cgi.com/virginia

Editorials


ANOTHER CRISIS FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE

News Virginian Editorial

Yet another deficiency has been uncovered in Virginia’s mental health services network: not enough nurses. State mental hospitals are struggling with high turnover rates. To fill vacancies, they are hiring nurses from overseas. Problems with Virginia’s mental health system seem to be legion.



A SYSTEM OF MENTAL CARE THAT’S BROKEN

News & Advance Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s mental health care system is an embarrassment, a ticking time bomb, a human tragedy waiting to happen. We’ve known it since April 2007 when a mentally disturbed student who slipped through the cracks in Virginia’s mental health care system shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, still the most deadly school mass shooting in United States history.



WE DON'T NEED 10 DEBATES. WE NEED 19.

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for governor, has challenged Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, to 10 debates. Northam has yet to respond. Ten debates for a Virginia governor’s race would be unprecedented. In 2013, Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli debated three times.



LONG OVERDUE, RECORDS RELEASED IN JAIL DEATH

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Officials at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail long maintained they conducted a thorough review of how Jamycheal Mitchell was cared for while he was incarcerated there. This internal affairs investigation became the stuff of legend because jail leaders repeatedly refused requests to release it. On Wednesday, following more than a year of stonewalling, officials finally provided copies of the supporting documents to The Pilot.



MAYOR STONEY MAKES RIGHT MOVE ON CONFEDERATE STATUES

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

Richmond confronts challenges related to schools, crime and other daily issues. Mayor Levar Stoney has authorized a commission to study the city’s Confederate statues and develop ways to supply them with context. The Times-Dispatch welcomes his step. Although it will not lift academic standards or lower the incidence of lawlessness, it will promote the truth and reconciliation that will make Richmond a better place.

Columnists


WILLIAMS: ON MONUMENTS, ALL IDEAS MUST BE ON THE TABLE

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

Mayor Levar Stoney says the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are “equal parts myth and deception.” The monuments were designed to “perpetuate the tyranny and the terror of Jim Crow and usher in a new era of white supremacy ... to do what the Confederate generals and the racist ideologues they depict could not: keep the free African people in Virginia in bondage.”

Op-Ed


DUGGER: IMPROVING DATA SYSTEMS CAN BUILD A STRONGER VIRGINIA WORKFORCE

By ROBERT H. DUGGER, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia was recently given a D by the Council for a Strong America, a national organization dedicated to making America’s workforce the most competitive in the world. The work-readiness of a state’s young adults is a key determinant of future economic success. The council’s assessment of our state’s young adult “citizen readiness” should concern all Virginians. The state’s grade is the result of investment in Virginia’s parents and families that could be done much better.

Robert H. Dugger is a retired hedge fund partner, a founder of ReadyNation, and lives in Alexandria.



DUDLEY: THE INSANITY OF THE MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE

By ALDEN DUDLEY, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Until 1944, liquid natural gas (LNG) was stored in above-ground tank farms (bulk terminals) as on U.S. 460 in Blue Ridge and off Starkey Road in Roanoke (LNG now under ground). Cleveland had four LNG tanks above ground in October 20, 1944. One riveted seam leaked cold LNG that flowed down to a sewer with gas and exploded in the sewers at 2:30 p.m. The heat of the first tank fire exploded a second tank 30 minutes later and that exploded the third and fourth in a flash.

Dudley retired in 2003 as Chief of Staff at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Associate Dean at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. From 2003-2010, he was half-time Professor of Pathology at the Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Friday Read


IS NORTH CAROLINA THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN POLITICS?

By JASON ZENGERLE, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The state is narrowly split between Democratic and Republican Parties that agree on virtually nothing. Are its scorched-earth politics what the rest of us have to look forward to?