A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - March 6, 2013
Compiled by Sue Lindsey
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell sent a letter Tuesday to President Obama’s health secretary to stress that he and the General Assembly have not agreed to expand Medicaid. “The recently passed budget of Virginia contains language outlining a series of reforms that must be completed to the satisfaction of a new legislative commission prior to consideration of Medicaid expansion,” McDonnell (R) wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Some media outlets and elected officials have labeled this as approving Medicaid expansion in Virginia. This is absolutely incorrect.”
Just as he told Republicans on a private conference call last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell has emphatically informed federal officials that Virginia has not approved Medicaid expansion, despite claims to the contrary. The governor conveyed that to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a two-page letter dated March 5.
Gov. Bob McDonnell told the Obama administration in a letter Tuesday that the state legislature’s actions regarding Medicaid are not tantamount to expansion. McDonnell, who leaves office in January, reiterated that the program must undergo significant reforms at the federal and state levels if Virginia is to expand coverage and that he is not inclined to endorse expansion on his watch.
Chris Christie isn’t the only Republican governor getting snubbed by the Conservative Political Action Conference. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not invited, according to someone close to CPAC who was not authorized to speak publicly. McDonnell, a potential 2016 candidate, spoke at the conference for the past two years. Like Christie, McDonnell is popular in his state. But he has come under fire from conservatives for backing a transportation deal that raises taxes.
Raising taxes to pay for transportation evidently doesn’t sit too well with the folks running CPAC. After attending the last two years, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has apparently not been invited to address the annual gathering of conservatives in Washington March 14-16.
When it comes to Virginia Republicans at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, it's out with the old and in with the new. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not invited to speak at this year's CPAC gathering, the annual national gathering of the GOP's conservative wing scheduled for next week in Washington, the governor's office confirmed Tuesday. McDonnell addressed the group last year and the year before but was snubbed this year. Instead, he will give the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast on March 15.
Three times won't be a charm for Gov. Bob McDonnell at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. That's because Virginia's popular Republican chief executive won't be at the annual event set for March 14-16 -- he wasn't invited to this year's forum after being asked to attend the past two years.
Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli II is scheduled to be the opening speaker at the annual CPAC conference next week, as the man he hopes to replace was not invited this year. The conservative attorney general, who has grabbed headlines and drawn support for challenging the federal health care law, climate change and pushing for tougher laws for abortion clinics, is among nearly 40 people listed on the Conservative Political Action Conference Web site as featured speakers.
The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a federal court ruling striking down a regulation that would have forced Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation to spend as much as $300 million for stormwater abatement. The decision by the agency follows litigation brought by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who said the EPA overreached when it attempted to regulate stormwater as a pollutant. Monday was the last day the agency could appeal the ruling.
The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a federal district court’s ruling declaring it is illegal for the EPA to regulate storm water as a pollutant as it flows into Virginia waterways. A federal judge ruled Jan. 3 that the EPA illegally overreached its authority in attempting to regulate water as a pollutant by imposing rules on the flow of storm water into Fairfax County’s Accotink Creek. Judge Liam O’Grady said the agency could regulate pollutants within water, like sediment, but not the water itself.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday announced that his office had reached settlements with Rysnglo Financial Management LLC of Virginia Beach and another mortgage loan modification company. Cuccinelli's office said Rysnglo and Mae Global Enterprises LLC of Los Angeles had violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by charging upfront fees of $6,000 to $15,000 for customers to obtain modifications of their loans.
An economic advisor to Gov. Bob McDonnell has resigned to protest the Republican leader's backing of a statewide tax hike to help fix Virginia's crumbling, crowded roads. In a letter to McDonnell dated Friday and obtained by The Washington Examiner, Richard Rahn said he was stepping down from his post on the Joint Advisory Board of Economists because "I strongly disagree with the new tax/transportation bill that you supported."
While the uranium mining issue fizzled in this year’s General Assembly, both sides are still advancing their causes. Uranium mining opponents will be meeting Thursday to discuss what their strategy for next year will be, said Andrew Lester, executive director of the Roanoke River Basin Association.
Unbowed by General Assembly action to restrict unmanned aircraft use in Virginia, law enforcement and aeronautics interests are lobbying Gov. Bob McDonnell to undo a just-enacted two-year ban on drones. That effort formally launched this week with the formation of the Virginia Technology Alliance for Public Safety coalition to promote the unmanned aircraft systems industry and its potential economic benefits to the state.
Staunton’s municipal government is among a growing number of voices across Virginia asking Gov. Bob McDonnell to reject the part of the General Assembly’s transportation funding overhaul that would place a special tax on hybrid cars.