GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Virginia Mercury

‘We’re cautiously optimistic:’ Drug data shows a dip in opioid deaths, but meth fatalities skyrocket

BY: - April 30, 2019

For the first time since 2012, the number of fatal drug overdoses in Virginia fell last year, according to the Fatal Drug Overdose Quarterly Report, which shows 17 fewer opioid deaths and a spike in methamphetamine and cocaine fatalities, due largely to the deadliness of fentanyl. The report, compiled by Virginia’s Office of the Chief […]

Department of Elections holds first expo for voters with disabilities

BY: - April 30, 2019

The Virginia Department of Elections held its first “Voters With Disabilities Engagement Expo” this week to showcase resources for people who need assistance voting. The event is one way to accomplish Gov. Ralph Northam’s goal of expanding voting access, said Deputy Commissioner Jessica Bowman. “It’s important that every Virginian that’s eligible to vote can vote,” […]

There’s another Russia report coming

BY: - April 30, 2019

WASHINGTON — The political fight over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is expected to explode as lawmakers reconvene on Capitol Hill for the first time since the public release of the report. As the partisan caterwauling continues over what Congress should do next, two low-key senators will be leading discussions behind closed doors about how […]

State regulators ‘bending over backwards’ to accommodate Justice mining companies, environmental groups say

BY: - April 29, 2019

FLOYD — The numerous coal companies that belong to the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have allowed thousands of acres of southwest Virginia surface mines to go unreclaimed for years, even as the state agency tasked with enforcing reclamation laws has repeatedly bent its own rules to give the companies more time. Officials […]

Virginia Mercury

Immigration eased population loss in 1 of 5 U.S. counties, including Virginia, analysis finds

BY: - April 28, 2019

Localities across Virginia staved off population loss due to an influx of immigrants, a new analysis by Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, found. In 1 of 5 U.S. counties, immigrants “prevented or significantly softened population loss,” the report states. In several Virginia municipalities, immigration either cut population loss by at least 10 […]

‘A starting point:’ Virginia takes steps to protect striped bass numbers in Chesapeake Bay

BY: - April 28, 2019

With stock assessments showing declines for the Atlantic’s prized striped bass population, Virginia last week closed its spring recreational season for trophy-sized fish ahead of possible action by the regional council that oversees fisheries along the coast. The emergency closure, which received unanimous support from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, was hailed by Commissioner Steven […]

‘I would love to turn Virginia into a Buttigieg state’

BY: - April 25, 2019

WASHINGTON — When Rep. Don Beyer was considering which Democratic presidential candidate to back, he thought about his three daughters, who “cried for three days after Donald Trump’s election,” he said. “Trying to figure out which of the 20 candidates has the best chance of beating Donald Trump has been a really important intellectual and […]

COMMENTARY

Wall Street Journal: Trump administration’s proposed offshore oil drilling expansion ‘sidelined indefinitely’

BY: - April 25, 2019

President Donald Trump’s administration has shelved for the moment a plan to potentially open vast stretches of American waters, including off the coast of Virginia, to offshore oil drilling, The Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement comes after a federal court decision that blocks drilling in the Arctic, setting up a long appeals process. “By […]

Teachers’ pay falls behind that of other college-educated workers, new study finds

BY: - April 25, 2019

The weekly pay of Virginia teachers in the last four years has fallen 31 percent lower than the wages of other college-educated workers, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. The Washington D.C.-based liberal-leaning think tank found that teachers in every state make less than their similarly-educated peers. Virginia was third from the […]

You’ve heard of cap-and-trade. But what about cap-and-dividend?

BY: - April 25, 2019

Maybe you’ve heard of cap-and-trade, but what about “cap and dividend?” Even as Virginia moves to limit the amount of carbon it allows power plants to release, a Northern Virginia Democratic congressman is pushing again for federal action to drive down emissions of the greenhouse gas driving climate change. U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-8th, who […]

Virginia Lottery had one of its best months ever while its advertising went off-air

BY: - April 24, 2019

The Virginia Lottery had its third-most successful month ever in March, the same month the agency took TV and radio advertisement off the air for National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. March is typically a strong sales month, but a $768 million jackpot in the Mega Millions game likely helped in the ad-free month, said spokesperson […]

‘Shockoe Bottom has a role to play’ in elevating African-American history in Virginia

BY: - April 24, 2019

Back in the early 2000s, when the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project was launched to uncover an African burial ground in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom from beneath layers of asphalt, Ana Edwards and other advocates couldn’t conceive of a Richmond that would be debating removing Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. Times have clearly changed, the result […]