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VA News

A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.



VaNews - November 20, 2014

Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

VIRGINIA EDUCATION SECRETARY LEARNS FROM VISITS TO NEWPORT NEWS SCHOOLS

By JENNIFER L. WILLIAMS
Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton asked students a lot of questions during a visit to Newport News schools Wednesday morning, quipping at one point that she's "a recovering lawyer, so I cross-examine everybody." Holton had high praise for Newport News Public Schools and its emphasis on preparing students to be ready for college, careers and responsible citizenship after graduation.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

TOBACCO COMMISSION PROJECT IN SOUTHWEST DOESN'T SWAY VA. SENATOR

By ZACH CRIZER
Roanoke Times

The project formerly known as the King School of Medicine is attempting to solidify the Virginia tobacco commission’s $20 million commitment by arguing a new, collaborative plan will better address Southwest Virginia’s health care needs than an actual medical school.

THE VIRGINIA WAY, PART 5: FROM MAKING LAW TO INFLUENCING IT

By DAVE RESS
Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

In 14 years in the House of Delegates, a square-jawed, red-headed lawyer from Danville named Whitt Clement became one of the General Assembly Democrats who quietly made things happen — filling the key posts at the head of the Appropriations Committee panels that dealt with the big bucks: highways and other major construction work for the state. In 2002, Clement moved from being in the second rank of General Assembly leaders to the top of the heap of the state's giant roads-ports-airports-and-rail bureaucracy, taking on the six-figure job of secretary of transportation. When his term was up — after enough time to lock in a pension pegged to that six-figure salary — Clement found work back at a law firm.

LOCALITIES FACING CUTS AS MONEY COMMITTEES CHART VA. FINANCIAL FORECAST

By MICHAEL MARTZ AND JIM NOLAN
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Richmond and Virginia’s other large cities are bearing the brunt of the latest round of cuts in state aid to local governments, and the situation is likely to get worse as the General Assembly and Gov. Terry McAuliffe prepare for deeper reductions in state revenue in the next fiscal year.

EPA RULES WOULD RAISE POWER BILLS 30% BY 2025, LAWMAKERS TOLD

By PETER BACQUÉ
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Dominion Virginia Power customers would see their electricity bills go up about 30 percent by 2025 under proposed federal carbon emission regulations, state lawmakers learned Wednesday. That would amount to about $400 a year in higher electricity bills for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month. Richmond-based Dominion Virginia Power is the state’s largest electric provider with 2.4 million customers.

LAWMAKERS EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER PROPOSED EPA RULES

By ALAN SUDERMAN
Associated Press

State lawmakers expressed concern Wednesday that proposed federal regulations to cut carbon emissions from power plants will hurt Virginia's economic competiveness. The Senate and House held a joint committee meeting Wednesday to hear from state officials, energy companies and environmentalists on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

FRESHMAN DEL. SULLIVAN SWITCHES LAW FIRMS

Sun Gazette

Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th) has a new day job. Sullivan has joined the Arlington law firm Bean, Kinney & Korman as a shareholder. He previously was affiliated with Reed Smith.

STATE ELECTIONS

WHITBECK ENTERS RACE FOR VIRGINIA'S TOP GOP SEAT

By DANIELLE NADLER
Leesburg Today

After helping secure another win for the Republicans in the competitive 10th Congressional District race two weeks ago, John Whitbeck is turning his attention to drumming up support for the party at the state level. Whitbeck, who’s served as chairman of the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee since 2012, has announced plans to run for chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS

WEBB FORMS EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR WHITE HOUSE

By KEN THOMAS
Associated Press

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb launched an exploratory committee to consider a Democratic presidential campaign in 2016, taking the first official step in what could become a challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Webb announced the exploratory committee in a message posted from his Twitter account late Wednesday, making him the first candidate of either of the two major political parties to take the initial official step for the White House.

CONGRESS

GOODLATTE TO CHAIR JUDICIARY COMMITTEE FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS

By BOB STUART
News Virginian

Sixth District Rep. Bob Goodlatte will serve another two years as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Goodlatte's chairmanship selection for the 114th Congress was announced on Wednesday after the House Republican Conference confirmed the GOP Steering Committee's recommendation.

BOBBY SCOTT ELECTED RANKING DEMOCRAT ON HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

By DAVE RESS
Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Newport News, was elected ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce for the 114th Congress.

NEWLY ELECTED BRAT VOWS TO STAY ACCESSIBLE

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Associated Press

Rep. Dave Brat came down the hallway on his way to his office, a bag slung over his shoulder and no aide in sight, and bent over to take a swig from a public water fountain. It’s a sight you rarely see from members of Congress, who usually drink from the water in their offices. Five months after his upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Brat comes across as down-to-earth and says his constituents have warned him not to let Washington change him.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS

COLONNA'S SHIPYARD FINED $101,000

By ROBERT MCCABE
Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The federal government has fined Norfolk-based Colonna's Shipyard Inc. $101,000 following an inspection in May that found 12 safety and health violations, including four repeat violations. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the action Wednesday.

NORFOLK SHIPYARD FINED $101,000 BY OSHA

By HUGH LESSIG
Daily Press (Paywall for certain articles)

Colonna's Shipyard Inc. in Norfolk faces $101,000 in fines stemming from alleged violations of federal safety and health regulations. The company — which repairs U.S. Navy ships, tugboats, barges and ferryboats — received a dozen citations during a May inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to an agency news release. Four of those are repeat citation

FAIRFAX COUNTY APPROVES VA.’S FIRST TESLA DEALERSHIP

By JONATHAN O'CONNELL
Washington Post

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a developer’s application to open a Tesla dealership in Tysons Corner Tuesday, giving the luxury electric car marker the final major approval required to open its first sales outlet in the state. Tesla has long shown cars to customers at a showroom in the Tysons Corner Center mall, but it took a special agreement with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and a zoning change for the company to be able to actually sell cars. The deal with the DMV requires Tesla to open by March of next year.