VaNews

Tuesday April 24, 2018


General Assembly


LEGISLATORS: ‘WE’RE GOING TO GET THERE’ ON STATE BUDGET, MEDICAID

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Inside NOVA

Members of the Arlington legislative delegation say they expect a deal on Virginia’s biennial budget to be hammered out. But nailing lawmakers down on when that might happen is proving more elusive. “We sit and sit at home. We don’t meet, we make no progress,” sighed state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd), who serves as one of the Senate’s budget negotiators and who, for weeks, has been frustrated by a lack of movement.

VaNews April 24, 2018



YOU’LL BE ABLE TO TEXT 911 IN VIRGINIA, THANKS TO THESE TEENAGERS

By DEBBIE TRUONG, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Local agencies in Virginia must accept text messages to 911 under a recently passed law that was the brainchild of four Centreville High School students. The measure, sponsored by Sen. George L. Barker (D-Alexandria), emerged as part of a U.S. government class assignment at the Northern Virginia school.

VaNews April 24, 2018



CAN STANLEY'S SUBCOMMITTE HELP REBUILD LOCAL SCHOOLS?

By PAUL COLLINS, Martinsville Bulletin

From Martinsville to Henry County, Patrick County to Rocky Mount, local school districts need money. That’s been a consistent theme during this year’s budget discussions for cities and counties in southern Virginia. Local superintendents hope a new Virginia Senate subcommittee can help address some of those needs, in terms of providing state funding to help with modernizing facilities.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Federal Elections


VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN TARGETS DATA COMPANIES AS SENATE PRIMARY ELECTION NEARS

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart wants to sharply raise taxes on data centers and other businesses that rely heavily on computer equipment so that Virginia’s second-largest jurisdiction can fix aging schools and ease the tax burden for strapped local residents. The proposal, which targets one of the state’s most powerful industries, could also help Stewart shore up his populist credentials as he campaigns for the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in November.

VaNews April 24, 2018



FREITAS RAISES MORE THAN RIVALS IN VIRGINIA’S GOP PRIMARY FOR U.S. SENATE

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

A little-known Republican state legislator who hopes to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine in November outraised his two GOP primary rivals in the first three months of this year. Del. Nicholas J. “Nick” Freitas (Culpeper), in his third year in Virginia’s House of Delegates, took in $343,712 in the first quarter, according to the most recent reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

VaNews April 24, 2018



FUNDRAISING BY GOP SENATE CANDIDATES IN VIRGINIA DOESN'T COME CLOSE TO TIM KAINE'S

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Fundraising by the three Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., pales in comparison with the incumbent’s. Kaine, who is seeking a second term, raised nearly $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2018 and had more than $10.3 million on hand.

VaNews April 24, 2018



SEN. KAINE TOURS NASA LANGLEY

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

Sen. Tim Kaine took a quick tour of NASA Langley Research Center on Monday to see firsthand what he represents while he’s working in Washington, D.C. Most significant: the $96 million Measurement Systems Laboratory, which is under construction and slated to open next year.

VaNews April 24, 2018



DEMOCRATIC CHIEF IN GREENE RESIGNS, LEVELS CRITICISM AT THE COCKBURN CAMP

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A rural Democratic Party county chairwoman resigned Saturday in protest of what she called “harassment and intimidation” by the campaign of Leslie Cockburn, the likely Democratic nominee against U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, R-5th. The resignation email came from Elizabeth Alcorn in Greene County, north of Charlottesville, and followed Democrats voting at caucuses in 23 localities in the 5th Congressional District in a weeklong process. Cockburn won more than 50 percent of the delegates and is expected to be nominated at a convention May 5 in Farmville.

VaNews April 24, 2018

State Government


EDUCATION LEADERS, STATE OFFICIALS DISCUSS KEEPING SCHOOLS SAFE

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

It has been the issue at the center of education since the middle of February after a teenager shot and killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Now Virginia’s education leaders are coming together to address school safety in the state’s classrooms.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Congress


SEN. KAINE: LARGER NAVY WILL BE A BOOST FOR HAMPTON ROADS IF AREA CAN TRAIN ENOUGH WORKERS

By BILL BARTEL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

If Hampton Roads wants to benefit from the planned Navy buildup to 355 ships, the region has to develop a larger population of skilled workers – even reaching into its elementary schools to find future talent – U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said Monday. Kaine said the demand for more electricians, metal workers, welders and other skilled trades in ship construction, repair and maintenance will be immense in the coming decades should the White House and Congress press forward with plans to enlarge the Navy.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Economy/Business


RIVALS SEE OPENING IN DOMINION ENERGY'S POLITICAL SUCCESS

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Dominion Energy has long had unrivaled success at getting friendly legislation through the Virginia General Assembly, a political advantage that by some counts has been worth billions of dollars in profits. The parent company of the state's largest electric utility has massive sway in crafting Virginia's energy laws, including legislation passed earlier this year that likely eliminated any chance of the company having to lower electric rates that regulators have routinely found to be too high.

VaNews April 24, 2018



PAMUNKEY INDIAN TRIBE PARTNER BUYS 600 ACRES IN NEW KENT FOR POSSIBLE CASINO

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has secured 600 acres of land in New Kent County for what could be Virginia’s first casino. The tribe has not made a final decision on where to locate its planned $700 million resort and casino, but the identification of a possible site east of Richmond represents a significant step forward for a project rumored to be in the works since the Pamunkey won federal recognition in 2015.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Virginia Other


STATE REPORT: OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS QUADRUPLED IN ROANOKE LAST YEAR

By LUANNE RIFE AND AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Four times as many people died from opioid, heroin and cocaine overdoses in Roanoke last year as in 2016, and fentanyl was implicated in more than half of those deaths, according to preliminary figures released by the Virginia Department of Health. “Wow, that’s pretty dramatic,” Dr. John Burton, chairman of emergency medicine for Carilion Clinic, said Monday. “My impression is that we would see some plateauing or a slight increase.”

VaNews April 24, 2018



ROANOKE COUNTY POLICE DELIVER PIZZA, SANDWICHES TO PIPELINE PROTESTERS IN TREE STANDS

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

After provisions ran low in two tree stands occupied by pipeline protesters, Roanoke County police used plastic buckets on a rope to send up pizza and bologna sandwiches to the two women. The police officers, who have been keeping a close watch on the mother-and-daughter team of tree-sitters, were told for the first time Sunday that they needed food. “Their requests were accommodated immediately,” county spokeswoman Amy Whittaker said.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Local


RICHMOND PROSECUTORS TO STOP SEEKING CASH BONDS FOR CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Prosecutors in the city of Richmond, which has one of the busiest criminal court dockets in the state, will no longer seek cash bail bonds for defendants awaiting trial. Many defendants are released on personal recognizance or under pretrial supervision pending trial. But in a longstanding practice under fire from critics in Virginia and elsewhere, bail bonds are often set for offenders in an effort to ensure their good behavior and his or her presence at trial.

VaNews April 24, 2018



RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL SNUFFS CIGARETTE TAX, SPURNING SCHOOLS ADVOCATES

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Richmond City Council on Monday snuffed a proposal for a new per-pack tax on cigarettes, spurning education advocates and leaving $5.3 million in potential revenue on the table that, if approved, would have been dedicated for critical capital repairs to city schools. On a 6-3 vote, the council rejected an 80-cent cigarette tax put forth by Councilman Parker Agelasto. The tax would have generated millions annually that Agelasto proposed dedicating for repairing and maintaining the city's 44 school buildings.

VaNews April 24, 2018



EVEN AFTER GOP, DEMOCRAT ENDORSEMENTS, CHESAPEAKE CANDIDATES TOUT INDEPENDENCE

By MIKE CONNORS AND VICTORIA BOURNE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Several people on the May 1 ballot are campaigning on a promise of independence. But that didn’t stop some from accepting political party endorsements, which typically carry plenty of clout in Chesapeake. That list includes mayoral candidate Jo Anne Gallant, who recently received the Chesapeake Democratic Committee’s support. At candidate forums and online, Gallant has touted being an independent.

VaNews April 24, 2018



FORMER CITY COUNCILMAN AND HOTELIER PLANS TO RUN FOR MAYOR OF VIRGINIA BEACH

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

An Oceanfront hotel owner who used to be on the City Council plans to run for mayor. Linwood Branch said on Monday that he thinks it's a good time for him to step up and lead. He has the backing of Mayor Will Sessoms, who announced last week that he will step down on April 30 after nine years in the job. Branch is the second candidate to officially say he will join the race.

VaNews April 24, 2018



NEWSPAPER, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER IN COURT

By STAFF REPORT, Southside Messenger

On March 13, 2018 Averett Jones of The Southside Messenger petitioned the Charlotte County General District Court for a Writ of Mandamus regarding School Board Member JonPaul Berkley’s alleged failure to provide emails requested under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

VaNews April 24, 2018

TV/Radio


GOODLATTE LEGISLATION SEEKS TO MODERNIZE MUSIC INDUSTRY

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

Members of Congress are about to take up a bill from Congressman Bob Goodlatte this week that might end up being a revolutionary change to the music business.

VaNews April 24, 2018

Online News


HOW WOULD UNDERSERVED REGIONS ADAPT TO MEDICAID EXPANSION?

By ROBERT BURKE, Virginia Business

During Virginia’s long debate on expanding Medicaid, the siren song for supporters has been “access to health care.” Pass the bill, they said, and thousands of uninsured finally will get to see doctors and nurses. If only it was that easy. Getting a Medicaid card doesn’t necessarily mean you have a doctor at hand. Plenty of places in Virginia — especially rural areas — already are short of health-care providers. Oftentimes, people there depend on nonprofit community health centers or free clinics (both of which are chronically underfunded) scattered around the state, or they just go without. This is the true access challenge.

VaNews April 24, 2018


Editorials


RETHINKING THE REALITY OF OUR CITY

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

“That’s not Charlottesville” was the shocked rejoinder after the horrific events of Aug. 11-12 last year. And yes, for many of us, this wasn’t the Charlottesville we knew. Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer — prominently linked to white supremacist gatherings here in May, July and August 2017 — might have graduated from the University of Virginia, but the local community doesn’t claim them.

VaNews April 24, 2018



MEDICAID EXPANDED -- WHEN ‘BEST PLAN’ IS NO PLAN AT ALL

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

Sometime in the next week or so, the state Senate will commence examining the House budget, which means it will be taking a long look at its plan to expand Medicaid largely through the means of a tax on hospitals — which, of course, in this euphemistic world, is not a tax at all, but rather a “provider assessment.” The name alone, and the reason for using for it, is sufficient cause to ponder — and for concern.

VaNews April 24, 2018



LET FEDERAL LAW KEEP SAVING BIRDS

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

FOR 100 YEARS, through Republican and Democratic administrations, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has done a good job of protecting waterfowl and other migratory birds. It was one of the landmark conservation achievements of the 20th century. But even as its centennial year is being celebrated, the law is being seriously weakened as part of the Trump administration’s rush to roll back regulations.

VaNews April 24, 2018



THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC & THE PROBLEM OF PAIN

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

FATAL drug overdoses continue to be the top cause of unnatural deaths in the commonwealth, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Virginia Department of Health. In 2017, 1,227 people in Virginia died from opioid overdoses. The death toll included 19 opioid-related overdoses deaths each in Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties; 15 in Stafford County; 12 in the city of Fredericksburg; seven each in King George and Orange counties; six in Caroline County; and four in Louisa County.

VaNews April 24, 2018



WHY COREY STEWART HURTS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

What is wrong with Corey Stewart? There really seems no other diplomatic way to ask the question. We refer to last week’s debate in Lynchburg between the three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and the right to run against Tim Kaine this fall.

VaNews April 24, 2018

From vpap.org


MONEY RAISED IN NEXT TUESDAY'S MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

The Virginia Public Access Project

VPAP has posted the last round of campaign finance disclosures from candidates running in town and city elections next Tuesday. The reports cover activity from April 1 through April 19. Reports available are from candidates who e-file. It may take several days for VPAP to gather the reports of those candidates who file on paper with local voter electoral boards.

VaNews April 24, 2018