GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

ABC and Va. Lottery, which delivered more than $1 billion in revenue last year, have never gotten a full review by legislative audit commission

BY: - September 14, 2018

Two state agencies that have grown to be major revenue sources have never been comprehensively reviewed by the 45-year-old legislative commission created to oversee Virginia government. And staff at the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission think it’s time for the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority and Virginia Lottery to be the subjects of audits […]

NYT poll gives Brat slight edge over Spanberger, illustrates difficulty of polling

BY: - September 13, 2018

A New York Times-Siena College poll of the state’s 7th Congressional District says Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat has a slight edge over his Democratic challenger, former CIA operative Abigail Spanberger. The poll of 501 people puts Brat’s likely share of the vote at 47 percent and Spanberger’s at 43 percent. Of the respondents, 9 […]

Independent congressional candidate Shaun Brown outside the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond on Sept. 5, 2018. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

After Virginia Supreme Court dismisses appeal, Brown says she will run a write-in campaign

BY: - September 13, 2018

Shaun Brown, an independent candidate running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat, won’t be on the ballot after the state Supreme Court dismissed her appeal. Richmond Circuit Court Judge Gregory Rupe decided Sept. 5 that Brown’s name couldn’t be printed on ballots alongside U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican, and Democrat Elaine Luria for the election […]

Gov. Ralph Northam

Northam administration says it will move to regulate methane leaks, unveils other new climate initiatives

BY: - September 12, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration announced Wednesday that it would seek to regulate methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure and join a regional group of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles as well as an alliance to fight ocean acidification. “More than one third of all carbon pollution comes from transportation,” Northam’s […]

‘As if we don’t exist:’ Opponents call on air board to reject pipeline compressor station permit

BY: - September 12, 2018

BUCKINGHAM — Scores of people came out Tuesday night against a proposed compressor station in rural Buckingham County for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The public hearing, held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, was intended to solicit input on a draft air quality permit to construct and operate a 54,000-horsepower natural gas compressor […]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

Republicans say they’ll put forward redistricting plan that protects incumbents

BY: - September 12, 2018

House Republicans said in a court filing Wednesday that they’re in the “advanced stages” of preparing a redistricting plan, rebuffing Democratic leaders who have said lawmakers had reached an impasse and called for the courts to take over the process. In the filing, they write that their goal in any redistricting plan is to avoid […]

Virginia planning to spend $55 million on hurricane preparation

BY: - September 11, 2018

The state is planning to spend about $55 million preparing for Hurricane Florence, said Del. Chris Jones, the House Appropriations Committee chairman. Jones, a Republican from Suffolk, dropped the figure Tuesday as an aside during a meeting of the House’s school safety committee, citing a conversation earlier today with Secretary of Finance Aubrey Lane. “I was […]

Virginia’s senators will vote no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation

BY: - September 11, 2018

Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner will vote to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court. A full Senate vote is likely to take place by the end of this month. Kavanaugh is a Washington D.C.-based Circuit Court judge who was nominated by President Donald Trump. Democrats have been concerned about his […]

Handcuffed and in crisis: With a shortage of nearby beds, police drive mental patients across the state for treatment

BY: - September 11, 2018

In late July, two police officers in Abingdon helped two children into the back of a cruiser. The kids, 11 and 14 years old, hadn’t committed any crimes, and they weren’t on their way to the police station or to a juvenile detention center. They were going to mental health treatment facilities in Petersburg and […]

Independent congressional candidate Shaun Brown outside the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond on Sept. 5, 2018. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Shaun Brown files an appeal to stay on ballot

BY: - September 10, 2018

Shaun Brown, an independent candidate running for Congress in the Second District, is taking her bid to stay on the ballot to the Virginia Supreme Court. The Democratic Party filed last month to remove Brown, saying her candidacy petitions, which incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Taylor’s staff helped circulate in a scheme to pull voters from […]

Study finds Department of Elections fails to help local registrars, was subject to political influence

BY: - September 10, 2018

The state Department of Elections isn’t watching elections as closely as it should, isn’t providing help to local registrars and has often been politically influenced because of its staffing structure, a study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found. JLARC staff presented 21 recommendations that ranged from funding a multi-million dollar overhaul of […]

‘Obligated to do what’s right:’ State money helping maintain more historic African-American cemeteries

BY: - September 10, 2018

Old oaks loom over the graves inside East End Cemetery, a 16-acre burial ground bordering the city of Richmond and Henrico County. Shafts of sunlight filtering through the foliage illuminate the final resting places of the thousands of black men and women interred there since it opened in 1897. For years, East End — and […]