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ARLINGTON MANAGER PROPOSES 2-CENT TAX-RATE HIKE TO HELP SCHOOLS, METRO

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post

Arlington County’s top administrator on Thursday proposed a two-cent hike in the property tax rate to pay for growing school enrollment and increased funding for Metro. The proposed $1.2 billion budget, a 4.3 percent increase from this year’s, would raise $14.8 million for the county and boost the average residential property tax-and-fee bill to $8,613, a $308 increase.

VaNews February 24, 2017



VIRGINIA DEDICATES STATE OFFICE BUILDING IN HONOR OF CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER , Washington Post

The building where Virginia politicians plotted to close public schools rather than integrate was renamed Thursday in honor of the young African American girl who defied and ultimately defeated them. Barbara Rose Johns was 16 when she led a walkout of students at her segregated high school in the town of Farmville in 1951 to protest poor conditions. Black students had to wear coats and build fires in the little tar-paper shacks in which many of their classes were held.

VaNews February 24, 2017



AFTER TWO YEARS, RICHMOND COUNCILWOMAN DROPS EFFORT TO RENAME CITY HALL AFTER DOUG WILDER

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammell says she’s withdrawing a long-languishing proposal to rename City Hall for former governor and Richmond mayor L. Douglas Wilder. “He had no interest in City Hall being named after him,” Trammell said Wednesday.

VaNews February 24, 2017



PERRIELLO CAMPAIGNS WHERE CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS WON’T HOLD TOWN HALLS

By FENIT NIRAPPIL , Washington Post

Across Virginia, progressive activists have been frustrated by the refusal of some Republican members of Congress to hold town halls. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello is offering to give them an audience instead. It is the latest move by the former one-term congressman to appeal to Democratic voters newly engaged in politics or energized by their opposition to President Trump.

VaNews February 24, 2017



NORTHAM ROLLS OUT PLAN FOR NO-COST COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled a plan Thursday to make community colleges­ and workforce training free in certain high-demand fields such as health care, cybersecurity and skilled construction trades. Northam, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, would also require students who benefit from the program to commit to a year of public service.

VaNews February 24, 2017



VIRGINIA LAWMAKER LEFT HANDGUN UNATTENDED IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ROOM

By GRAHAM MOOMAW AND PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The small black pouch left behind in a Virginia General Assembly conference room last week looked like it could’ve been a wallet. But when a state senator picked it up to try to identify its owner, she didn’t find a driver’s license and credit cards. She found a gun.

VaNews February 24, 2017



MCAULIFFE SIGNS NEW LEGISLATION ON OPIOIDS

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier

Virginia lawmakers “waited too long” to address opioid addiction issues, but legislation signed into law Thursday is designed to meet some of the problem’s most pressing needs, Del. Todd Pillion said Thursday. Pillion, R-Abingdon, was the primary sponsor of House Bill 2165, which requires that all opioid prescriptions be transmitted to pharmacies electronically by July 1, 2020. It is designed to crack down on handwritten prescriptions that could be manipulated or diverted. It also creates a work group to study how to implement this change.

VaNews February 24, 2017



LOCAL DELEGATION SCORES SOME SUCCESSES IN GOP-DOMINATED GENERAL ASSEMBLY

By BRIAN TROMPETER, Sun Gazette

It’s hard to roll up legislative victories when you’re in the minority party, but several local General Assembly members managed to pass bills in both houses and have them sent to the governor’s desk. Republicans have roughly a 2-to-1 advantage over Democrats in the House of Delegates, but hold the state Senate by only a 21-19 margin. Despite those odds, here are bills passed by state legislators – all of them Democrats – in the Sun Gazette’s readership area:

VaNews February 24, 2017



EBBIN MEASURE ON GEORGE WASHINGTON’S WHISKEY HEADS TO GOVERNOR

Sun Gazette

The rye whiskey developed by George Washington at Mount Vernon in the late 1700s will be designated Virginia’s official “state spirit” under legislation patroned by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th) and passed by both houses of the legislature. The measure, which now awaits a decision by Gov. McAuliffe, would add the whiskey to Virginia’s long list of official emblems and designations, joining the likes of milk (state beverage),

VaNews February 24, 2017



STATE BUDGET: HERE'S 5 LESS-TALKED-ABOUT HAMPTON ROADS ISSUES

By JORDAN PASCALE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

By now you’ve probably heard that 3 percent raises for state employees are in Virginia’s revised budget. Now 2 percent raises for public school teachers and college faculty are in there, too. There have been disagreements over funding for mental health screenings in jails versus funding for a Jamestown milestone commemoration. The celebration gets all $10 million that it asked for. And the budget includes $28 million for larger mental health initiatives.

VaNews February 24, 2017