A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - July 23, 2014
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Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he will not appeal a circuit court’s ruling that struck down a newly created state board specializing in school takeovers as being unconstitutional. His decision effectively neutralizes state lawmakers’ efforts to hand control of the state’s worst-performing public schools to universities or private charter groups.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will not appeal a ruling that deemed the state’s school takeover division unconstitutional. The governor announced his decision Tuesday in Richmond at a conference of the Virginia School Boards Association, which challenged the statewide division in court, along with the Norfolk School Board.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe sounded the death knell Tuesday for a state school takeover plan created by his predecessor. McAuliffe announced he will not appeal a Norfolk judge's ruling that the plan violates the Virginia constitution. The decision brings an end to the short, fraught tenure of the Opportunity Educational Institution, an agency that met resistance from its inception.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that he won't appeal a judge's ruling that overturned a law allowing the state to take over chronically failing schools, including two schools in Petersburg. McAuliffe said in a statement Tuesday that the law altered the relationships between the state and local school boards in significant and unconstitutional ways.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Tuesday requiring state agencies to award more than 42 percent of contracts to small businesses. The governor's order said the target would be the highest percentage of state contracts to go to businesses certified as small, women-owned and minority owned since the state began tracking this data in 2004.
With Virginia’s legislative elections 15 months away, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is heading west to tap a few deep-pocketed Democrats for dollars for his political action committee. McAuliffe will be in Beverly Hills today for a fundraiser thrown by billionaire Ron Burkle. On Thursday he goes for the gold in the Rocky Mountain enclave of Aspen, Colo., for a fundraiser thrown by Samia Farouki.
Two federal appeals courts on Tuesday issued contradictory rulings on whether low- and middle-income people may receive federal subsidies to buy policies in the states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. The issue, which could be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, is crucial in 34 states, including Virginia, which did not set up their own health exchanges.
A four-month-old psychiatric-bed registry that is supposed to provide up-to-the-minute information for Virginians who need emergency mental health treatment is being updated as seldom as once a day, state officials told a panel of lawmakers this week. It was the first report on the registry, which was a key part of a set of reforms passed this year in response to the death of Austin “Gus” Deeds, who attacked his father, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, in November before taking his own life.
A presidential visit and a spouse’s business policy became bones of contention last week in the acrimonious 10th District U.S. House of Representatives race. First up: President Obama’s July 15 visit to the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, which did not feature any appearances by local politicians.
Just seven years after it opened and only four years after it was leased to the Virginia Port Authority, APM Terminals' state-of-the-art Portsmouth facility is about to be sold. The buyer is a partnership made up of affiliates of Alinda Capital Partners, a big U.S. infrastructure investment firm, and Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd., or USS, the largest private-sector pension fund in the United Kingdom, according to an APM Terminals statement.
The state's $1.16 billion deal with a private firm that officials blame for driving the Virginia Port Authority deeply into the red could be restructured now that the company has agreed to sell its cargo terminal, Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said Tuesday. APM Terminals is selling its Portsmouth facility to a group of investment funds managed by Alinda Capital Partners and Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd., the biggest private sector pension fund in Britain.
Col. Paul B. Olsen, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Norfolk District, showed a slide of Holland Island. The once-populated spot in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland is now abandoned, the victim of rising sea levels and flooding. “As Holland was, Tangier (Island) is, and Hampton Roads will be,” Olsen said, making a grave assessment for low-lying parts of Virginia.
Virginia mental health officials presented new evidence Tuesday that the state was fixing its problem with “streeting” people in psychiatric crisis even before a package of new laws took effect July 1 to end the phenomenon.
Several fair housing organizations have accused a Fannie Mae vendor of racial discrimination in its maintenance of vacant, foreclosed homes in the Richmond area and other regions.
A highway project that ran up nearly $300 million in bills without any guarantee it could be built is back on the public meeting circuit while state officials work out a new plan for it. About 70 people attended a town hall session Monday at Sussex Central High School to get a status report on the U.S. 460 Corridor Improvements Project and air their frustrations with it.