A tale of two reports: Why recycling coal ash at Dominion’s sites appears more feasible now than it did a year ago

BY: - November 20, 2018

Dominion Energy’s latest report on the costs and feasibility of recycling and landfilling of nearly 30 million tons of coal ash, instead of capping it in place, has shaved roughly a billion dollars from the upper end of estimates prepared last year. That, lawmakers and environmental groups say, is the product of soliciting actual bids […]

Was Election Day a ‘lot of mess’ or ‘relatively smooth?’ Depends who you ask.

BY: - November 19, 2018

At a State Board of Elections meeting Monday, Chris Piper, commissioner of the Department of Elections said this year’s midterm elections had “unprecedented” turnout and went “relatively smooth.” “We had a strong day,” Piper told the Board of Elections on Monday. “It was a huge turnout for a midterm election.” Early estimates have voter turnout […]

Virginia’s Medicaid expansion drawing thousands more enrollees than initially projected

BY: - November 16, 2018

Less than two weeks after Virginia opened registration for its expanded Medicaid program, officials say they’ve already drawn thousands more applicants than initially anticipated. The state had expected the new program to enroll 300,000 over the next year and a half. They now expect that number to reach 375,000. The new estimates won’t alter the […]

Gov. Northam names new members to state air, water boards as pipeline opponents fume

BY: - November 16, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam named new members for the state’s air and water boards a day after he ignited the ire of environmental groups by removing air board members whose terms expired months ago just as the panel weighs a crucial permit for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “We hope these new board members are qualified, […]

House Democratic leader says he will step down in the “near future”

BY: - November 16, 2018

Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, plans to leave his post as leader of the House Democratic Caucus sometime “in the near future,” party staff said. Toscano has been House Democratic Caucus Leader for seven years and served as delegate for the 57th District, which includes Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County, since 2006. He led the […]

With compressor station decision pending, Northam replaces two members of state air board

BY: - November 15, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam will replace two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board and at least one member of the State Water Control Board more than four months after their terms ended. Notably, the decision to replace the two members of the air board — Rebecca Rubin and Samuel Bleicher, whose terms ended in June […]

Virginia got a deal on its half of Amazon’s HQ2 compared to New York, but is it really ‘zero risk’?

BY: - November 14, 2018

The early reviews are in, and by all accounts, Virginia looks like it got a comparative bargain on the deal it struck to bring half of Amazon’s HQ2 to Arlington County. “Basically, New York’s incentives look like they’re ultimately going to be about 10 times what Virginia offered,” says economist Tim Bartik with the Upjohn […]

Virginia promised Amazon it will withhold as many public records as possible and warn the company when it can’t

BY: - November 13, 2018

Officials in Virginia have promised Amazon they will withhold as much information as they legally can about the retail-giant’s new Virginia headquarters, which will benefit from direct state incentives totaling $550 million. And when information can’t be withheld under state public records laws, state officials have contractually agreed to warn the company so that they […]

Boon or boondoggle? Officials, lawmakers, academics weigh in on proposed Amazon ‘megadeal’

BY: - November 13, 2018

As expected, Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration announced Tuesday that Virginia landed the whale cities and states across the country have scrambled to harpoon since Amazon launched an open competition last year for the privilege of hosting its new headquarters project. The company says it will invest $2.5 billion in the new headquarters planned for Crystal […]

Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, stands in the chamber. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

U.S. Supreme Court will hear Virginia redistricting case

BY: - November 13, 2018

The United States Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Virginia Republicans challenging a lower court’s decision that found 11 state House of Delegates districts were racially gerrymandered. It was not immediately clear how the decision might affect the process of redrawing the districts by a court appointed special master, which was planned to be […]

Voter registration through the DMV can be an imperfect process, one voter learns

BY: - November 13, 2018

When Emily McClure relocated to Virginia from Alabama, she was excited to vote in a state she considered purple. “I feel like my vote would matter more here,” she said. “I was excited to go to the polls and have my voice heard a little bit.” McClure found someone to watch her kids and went […]

Landlords and tenant advocates agree on broad strokes of eviction diversion program

BY: - November 13, 2018

Months of talks between landlord groups and tenant advocates have yielded a broad agreement to test an eviction diversion program in a bid to tamp down highest-in-the-nation eviction rates in Virginia cities, though exactly how far it will go is still under discussion. As currently contemplated, the program would give tenants facing an eviction lawsuit […]