Virginia may be great for businesses, but a new report says it’s terrible for workers

BY: - September 5, 2018

Virginia leaders have long trumpeted the state’s high rankings in lists of states that are good for businesses. Over Labor Day weekend, the state landed on the wrong end of a different kind of list: The best states for workers. Virginia ranked dead last in the report by Oxfam, a left-leaning charity focused on fighting […]

Caroline County Virginia soybean field

‘I’d prefer they just stay out of it:’ Virginia farmers caught in the middle of trade war

BY: - September 5, 2018

Even as the trade war between the United States and China threatens to dramatically drive down the price of the nation’s top agricultural export, many Virginia soybean farmers are adopting a cautious stance of “wait and see.” “We’re hearing from some farmers that are understandably very upset with the administration because it is affecting the […]

24/7 vigilance, a live-in lawyer and embracing activism: two months of claiming sanctuary in a Richmond church’s basement

BY: - September 4, 2018

A knock on the locked church doors prompts an unexpected line of interrogation from a congregation member inside: ‘”Who are you? Why are you here?” It’s hard to hear through the heavy glass and the tone is surprisingly tense for a sunny afternoon on a quiet street outside a house of worship. The door eventually […]

The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

Court says Republicans have to meet Oct. 30 map-redrawing deadline

BY: - August 31, 2018

A three-judge panel rejected Virginia House Republicans’ request to stay the Oct. 31 deadline to redraw 11 racially gerrymandered voting districts until the U.S. Supreme Court gets to the case. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the requested in a Thursday order after the General Assembly convened for a Special […]


Two visions in conflict

BY: - August 31, 2018

If you step on it, you can drive from the Atlantic Ocean to Nelson County, Va., in about three hours. In the not-too-distant future, you could be able to make the trip in a lot less time. That’s not because we’ll have flying cars or frictionless roads, or because Great Birnam Wood is moving to […]

The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

Advocates: As long as redistricting is in the legislature’s hands, partisan squabbling will be the result

BY: - August 30, 2018

They came, they argued, they called each other names and didn’t agree on a new map. Democrats put forward a map to to fix unconstitutionally-drawn voting districts, though lawmakers on both sides called it a political power grab and a hypocritical response to Republican gerrymandering, among other critiques lodged against the proposal during the first […]

Dominion keeps raking in excess profit

BY: - August 30, 2018

Former journalist and veteran lobbyist Steve Haner, writing at Bacon’s Rebellion, has a good look at the yearly report the State Corporation Commission has done documenting the hundreds of millions of dollars in utility “overearning” since the Virginia General Assembly prevented it from lowering utility base rates in 2015 (the so-called rate freeze). The unsurprising […]

Explained: What went wrong with the 11 disputed House Districts, including a Republican delegate’s ‘murky recollection’ in court

BY: - August 30, 2018

Everyone knows the short version at this point: A panel of federal judges ruled that the General Assembly illegally packed black voters into 11 House of Delegates’ districts and has ordered lawmakers to redraw them, a process that’s beginning today. But the long version is a bit more nuanced and involves two important protections for […]

The state will need a waiver from its own new opioid prescription rules

BY: - August 30, 2018

Since the opioid epidemic began, policy makers have been trying to stop the torrent of highly addictive painkillers that providers began pouring into the general population in the 1990s. But clamping down on prescriptions is not as simple as it might seem. As Virginia nails down regulations that could prevent fraudulent prescriptions, it must also […]

Signature fiasco gets worse for Taylor

BY: - August 29, 2018

You might have heard that U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Virginia Beach Republican, has been ensnared in something of a controversy over some signatures. His staff helped circulate petitions to get Hampton Democrat Shaun Brown on the ballot as an independent to siphon votes from the party’s nominee, Elaine Luria. However, it turns out a […]

House Minority Leader David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, is flanked by Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, and Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, as he introduces Democrats redistricting proposal. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 29, 2018)

House Democrats’ proposed redistricting plan targets five vulnerable Republicans

BY: - August 29, 2018

A redistricting plan floated by Democrats in the House of Delegates this afternoon would move 55,000 black voters out of majority-minority districts that a court has ruled are unconstitutional. Most of them would instead be placed in the districts of five vulnerable Republicans. The plan cuts another two Republicans out of the districts they currently […]

Virginia State Capitol

During special redistricting session, will Republicans stall, play ball or both?

BY: and - August 29, 2018

The General Assembly will reconvene at noon on Thursday, called back to Richmond by Gov. Ralph Northam to address a federal court order requiring lawmakers to redraw 11 House of Delegates districts. The court ruled in June that the districts were racially gerrymandered to contain a set threshold of black voters, diluting their political influence […]