GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

‘No one really wins.’ For a supremely polarized electorate, what value do debates add?

BY: - July 24, 2018

HOT SPRINGS —  There was plenty of talk about President Donald Trump, boarded-up storefronts in Danville and U.S. relations with Russia at the first debate between U.S. Senate candidates Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart. The two met Saturday at the Omni Homestead Resort for a debate sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association. Generally missing from […]

Virginia makes more money available for school security grants

BY: - July 23, 2018

With Lee County announcing its intention  earlier this month to become the first school system in Virginia to arm teachers, partly because it’s cheaper than hiring officers, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office says an additional $1.3 million is available in grants for police and security. “Ensuring the safety of Virginians, especially of our youth, is a […]

Four years of political battling over Medicaid expansion has ended. What comes next?

BY: - July 23, 2018

In May, when Virginia’s General Assembly passed a budget that includes expanding the state’s Medicaid program, Lisa Coles’ daughter came running into her bedroom, ecstatic. “She said, ‘Mom, we’re going to get health insurance! It’s coming through!’” Coles, 49, recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, girl, Jan. 1, we’re going to get it!’ I was so happy.” […]

Alternate universe Senate race, update on Unite the Right anniversary and Richmond’s attendance woes, among other headlines

BY: - July 23, 2018

A different result with ranked-choice voting? Could instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, have installed Nick Freitas as the GOP Senate candidate instead of Corey Stewart? Marla McKenna at  The Culpeper Star-Exponent quotes Freitas as in favor of the method, calling it “a solid policy” and pledging to support legislation that would give Virginia voters that […]

Advocacy group will monitor Staunton detention center

BY: - July 20, 2018

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia will look for signs of abuse and neglect at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, the Staunton News Leader reports. Immigrant children being held at the facility have alleged they were “beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering concrete cells,” the […]

We know eviction rates are high in Virginia. New research effort aims to tell us why.

BY: - July 20, 2018

Major research released earlier this year found eviction rates in Virginia cities are among the highest in the country, drawing unprecedented attention to the issue and prompting a policy debate that’s still unfolding. But what has yet to be addressed in a rigorous academic setting is why eviction rates are so high here. That’s where […]

What a Corey Stewart staffer, a white nationalist Facebook discussion group and an alleged break-in have in common

BY: - July 19, 2018

Here’s a weird one that broke Thursday: Virginia GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart says Stephanie Saul, a New York Times reporter seeking an interview with Brian Landrum, a Stewart staffer, entered Landrum’s Woodbridge apartment uninvited, the Washington Post reported. Landrum, who works part-time for Stewart’s campaign as well as for Prince William County, where Stewart […]

‘What recourse do you have other than to write the check?’ Lawmakers scrutinize ‘balance-billing.’

BY: - July 19, 2018

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for patients to protect themselves from surprise medical bills, and a Virginia legislative committee has the issue firmly in its crosshairs. As health care costs rise, patients are being asked to shoulder more of the burden. Some of that comes from a practice known as balance billing, when an out-of-network provider […]

COMMENTARY

Are we up to reforming our civil system to help poor litigants?

BY: - July 19, 2018

Lately, we have all been horrified by the spectacle of toddlers and other children, separated from their parents at our southern border, appearing in court alone to face deportation. While our collective distaste is justified, the truth is that people of modest means, like these asylum seekers, have been shuffled through our court system unrepresented […]

Fox-hunting pens shut down

BY: - July 18, 2018

Six fox-hunting pens have been shut down in Virginia following a two-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. Nine people pleaded guilty to a range of charges, mostly misdemeanors but also a few felonies. “Fox penning can become unlawful when operators put illegal foxes and coyotes into a fenced-in area and allow dogs […]

Virginian-Pilot stonewalled on tax information

BY: - July 18, 2018

Virginian-Pilot reporter Ana Ley got an earful from Portsmouth’s elected commissioner of the revenue while she was trying to pry loose neighborhood-specific information on meal, beverage and retail tax revenues for a story published Wednesday. “You’ve taken up a lot of time – taxpayer dollars – trying to respond to your request because you want […]

State board clears local jails of responsibility in 23 deaths but won’t release details of investigations

BY: - July 18, 2018

The Virginia Board of Corrections wrapped up its first batch of inmate death investigations Wednesday, voting unanimously to clear about a dozen jails in 23 deaths that occurred in 2017 and 2018. The new review process was established by the General Assembly last year in a bid to increase oversight of local jails following the […]