Staff Report

Staff Report

Virginia Mercury staff report. For questions, comments or concerns, contact [email protected]

Dems block gun law rollbacks and more Virginia headlines

By: - March 1, 2022

• A Virginia Beach School Board member has been booted off Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s education working group after making controversial comments about students learning English as a second language.—WAVY • New Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares’s efforts to gain more power to prosecute local crimes hit a dead end in the General Assembly.—Washington Post • Democrats blocked a […]

Youngkin calls for severing of state ties to Russia and more Va. headlines

By: - February 28, 2022

• In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Gov. Glenn Youngkin is asking the state government and Virginia universities to sever any financial ties to Russia. He also urged Norfolk and Roanoke to end sister city partnerships with Russian cities.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • A sister cities organization in Roanoke is declining the governor’s request, saying it wants to […]

A red fleece special delivery, budget wrangling begins and more headlines

By: - February 25, 2022

• “The Republican-controlled Virginia House and Democrat-controlled Senate on Thursday each passed their own budgets, substantially different spending plans that negotiators will meld into compromise legislation in the coming weeks.”—Associated Press • Six Republican senators voted for a failed budget amendment proposed by Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, to spend $70 million on a “forensic audit” […]

House ignores Youngkin push to ban ‘divisive concepts’ in schools and more Va. headlines

By: - February 24, 2022

• The House and Senate are scheduled to vote on competing budget proposals today. “The key difference: how far to go with tax cuts, which affects how much revenue is available to spend on priorities such as schools and public employee pay raises.”—Washington Post • Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to ban the teaching of “divisive […]

Dems prioritize funds for services over tax cuts and more Va. headlines

By: - February 23, 2022

• Senate Democrats shaping the state’s budget told Youngkin’s administration that they’d rather increase funding for services like public education than approve the aggressive tax cuts he proposed, citing, among other things, recent public opinion polling. “The public doesn’t agree with you at all, or most don’t.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch • “Raises for teachers and money to rebuild crumbling […]

Rural hospital staff losses low despite mandate and more Va. headlines

By: - February 22, 2022

• Gov. Glenn Youngkin says his administration has made major progress reducing a backlog of unemployment claims, but “advocates and legislators say they are unsure what the announcement means because the state’s unemployment system continues to struggle to process claims.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The House of Delegates is proposing $240 million in additional funding for state colleges, but […]

Proposals to boost public school funding and more Va. headlines

By: - February 21, 2022

• “Public schools would get big boosts in the state budgets the General Assembly money committees approved on Sunday, from restoring state funding for school support employees to a proposed loan-rebate program to generate up to $2 billion to replace or modernize obsolete public school buildings.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch • Attorney General Jason Miyares is withdrawing Virginia from a […]

Youngkin shifts focus from masks to taxes and more Virginia headlines

By: - February 18, 2022

• Gov. Glenn Youngkin says he’s optimistic about the remainder of his agenda for the General Assembly’s 2022 session. “This legislative process is one that I find incredibly encouraging,” he said. ”I’m inspired by it.” Democrats in the Senate said they welcomed his sunny outlook, but said his bills are “going to get voted down […]

Virginia board votes to repeal first-in-nation COVID safety rules and more headlines

By: - February 17, 2022

• Virginia occupational safety authorities concluded COVID-19 is no longer a “grave danger” to workers and voted to repeal the state’s emergency rules, which mandated employers to follow CDC guidance for their industries.—Bloomberg Law • The chairwoman of the Montgomery County School Board walked out of a meeting last night after an anti-mask activist began […]

Halfway point for the General Assembly and more Va. headlines

By: - February 16, 2022

• At the midpoint of the legislative session, the House of Delegates had advanced an array of Republican reforms and leaders in the Senate boasted that they had curbed or blocked much of the GOP’s legislative agenda.—Washington Post • Gov. Glenn Youngkin returned legislation ending school mask mandates to the legislature with an emergency clause that would […]

Grocery tax cut threatens transportation dollars and more Va. headlines

By: - February 15, 2022

• House and Senate lawmakers are both advancing plans to repeal the state’s 3 percent grocery tax. The legislation would leave a more than $100-million-a-year hole in the state’s transportation budget.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • “Thirteen Democratic state senators joined Republicans on Monday to pass a GOP bill that would strip three citizen environmental boards of their power to […]

Youngkin apologizes for mix-up and more Va. headlines

By: - February 14, 2022

• “Pleas for civility accompanied by a verbal smackdown … are something of a hallmark for Youngkin (R), a political neophyte whose campaign last year depicted him as both a mainstream moderate and a bright red admirer of Donald Trump.”—Washington Post  • Youngkin apologized for mistaking one Black lawmaker for another when he sent a text congratulating […]