GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Congressional committee eyes former Hunton Andrews Kurth employees who joined EPA

BY: - May 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — A congressional investigation is examining whether top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials, former employees of a legal and lobbying outfit with long Richmond ties, violated ethics rules by working on behalf of their former clients. Lawmakers have asked for documents and an EPA inspector general investigation into whether the agency’s air chief Bill […]

How does the budget change Virginia’s school counselor ratio?

BY: - May 9, 2019

For the first time in decades, Virginia lawmakers have agreed to increase the minimum number of counselors required in schools. But they also decided not to fully fund those positions in the state budget. “July 1, 2019, there will be a new law in Virginia that improves the school counselor-to-student ratio and puts us on […]

Warner: ‘If this becomes an only one-party struggle, then I screwed up.’

BY: - May 9, 2019

WASHINGTON  — Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is nowhere near ready to move on from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Warner assailed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Donald Trump for their public declarations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings exonerated […]

U.S. House committee votes on party lines to hold attorney general in contempt

BY: - May 9, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the war between President Donald Trump’s administration and House Democrats. The committee voted 24-16 along party lines to approve a resolution recommending that the full U.S. House find Barr in contempt for his refusal to […]

One vote from becoming ‘New York and California:’ Southwest GOP races offer insight into 2019 strategy

BY: - May 8, 2019

GATE CITY — Many Americans are closely following the emerging race between President Donald Trump and a large field of Democratic challengers, but when Del. Todd Pillion told a group of Republicans that this election “is easily the most important that we’ve seen in a generation,” he wasn’t talking about 2020. Instead, Pillion, R-Washington County, […]

FOIA Council will study bill that creates rules for disclosing conditions of university donations

BY: - May 8, 2019

The Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council will study a bill that would require universities to share the terms and conditions of donations from private entities. Del. David Bulova, D-Fairfax, introduced House Bill 2386 to create firm rules on when donors to public colleges and universities can be anonymous; what donor information isn’t subject to […]

After executive branch’s scandals, two new PACs form to fill the fundraising gap

BY: - May 7, 2019

Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s new political action committee isn’t for a gubernatorial run — at least not yet. The Richmond Democrat launched Virginia United this week with the goal of helping capture the General Assembly. She announced Tuesday morning in a news release that the PAC has already raised $50,000 to support legislative and local candidates […]

Va.’s top judge wants to end long waits for justice over holiday weekends

BY: - May 7, 2019

Someone arrested the day before Thanksgiving could be looking at a five-night stay in jail before getting a chance to go before a local judge for a bail hearing, and Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Donald Lemons says that delay has never felt right to him. “It seems to me that it’s not proper […]

COMMENTARY

A coalition takes aim at Virginia’s ‘vampire squid:’ How much will it make it squirm?

BY: - May 7, 2019

New York investment bank Goldman Sachs was once memorably called “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. In Virginia, many would argue we have long had our own bloodsucking cephalopod wrapped around the Capitol. And […]

State aims to reduce transportation trauma for involuntary mental health detentions

BY: - May 7, 2019

When someone in Virginia has a mental health crisis and a magistrate issues a temporary detention order to involuntarily hold them for treatment, law enforcement must take them to an available hospital bed. So the patient is put in the back of a police vehicle, often handcuffed even though the vast majority have not committed […]

Virginia following legal debate that could threaten interstate lottery games ‘very closely’

BY: - May 6, 2019

A new interpretation of a federal law by the U.S. Department of Justice could mean some nationwide games offered by the Virginia Lottery would have to stop, cutting off about 15 percent of the agency’s annual sales. The Virginia Lottery is following legal proceedings “very closely” related to the opinion, said spokesperson John Hagerty, but […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court places ‘a heavy thumb on the scale’ for keeping records secret

BY: - May 6, 2019

In late summer 2018, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach its Supreme Court’s four sitting judges; the fifth one had resigned earlier. What started the whole ball rolling was a TV news report that found the justices had been throwing money around like newly signed professional athletes. Collectively, they spent $3.7 million […]