GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Hospitals could take financial hit under Medicaid work requirements, study found

BY: - March 22, 2019

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. A new study from the Commonwealth Fund found that Medicaid work requirements not only will cause more people to lose insurance, but could also increase uncompensated care and hurt hospitals’ bottom line as well. […]

Governor signs coal ash cleanup bill

BY: - March 22, 2019

By Adrian Teran-Tapia/ Capital News Service Environmental and consumer groups applauded Gov. Ralph Northam after he signed legislation this week that aims to protect water quality by cleaning up more than 27 million cubic yards of coal ash from unlined ponds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Northam signed into law SB 1355, sponsored by Sen. Frank […]

Virginia transit officials drove through Elon Musk’s tunnel. They say they’ll stick with railways and roads

BY: - March 21, 2019

Virginia transit officials flew out to California earlier this year to check out a tunnel dug by Elon Musk’s Boring Company and, well, they think the state should stick with traditional railways and roads for now. “It’s a car in a very small tunnel,” Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, told members of the […]

In Richmond, former New Orleans mayor calls for honest dialogue on race

BY: - March 20, 2019

By Katja Timm/ Capital News Service If Civil War history is to be displayed across the American South, it must be portrayed fairly and accurately with an open dialogue about racial disparities in the region, the former mayor of New Orleans told Richmond’s mayor Tuesday. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Richmond Mayor Levar […]

Delegate pushes for an explanation from DEQ on Mountain Valley Pipeline

BY: - March 18, 2019

Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, has asked the Department of Environmental Quality to issue a stop work order on the Mountain Valley Pipeline until a lawsuit filed by the state over hundreds of construction violations is resolved. “The destruction of our clean water in Virginia caused by the Mountain Valley Pipeline has gone on for long […]

U.S. Supreme Court weighs arguments in Virginia’s redistricting case

BY: - March 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided over a high-stakes political gerrymandering case that could affect control of Virginia’s legislature. The justices heard oral arguments Monday in the case of Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, in which the House of Delegates is appealing a lower court’s ruling that 11 districts in Virginia had […]

Four years ago, a woman was left stranded in her independent living apartment for days. Should the state provide more oversight?

BY: - March 18, 2019

More than four years later, Diane Franklin’s children still choke up when they describe what happened to their mother. It was Dec. 13, 2015, and as she approached Franklin’s apartment in a Charlottesville independent living community, Jackie Carney could already smell urine. Franklin had been trapped there for four days, her broken clavicle preventing her […]

Northam’s first Flood Awareness Week encourages flood insurance coverage

BY: - March 15, 2019

In many of the localities most vulnerable to flood damage, fewer than five percent of property owners carry flood insurance. Statewide, just three percent do. Gov. Ralph Northam named this week the state’s first Flood Awareness Week, meant to educate Virginians about the potential risks of flooding and encourage homeowners to purchase flood insurance from […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia could use a lot more sunshine

BY: - March 15, 2019

My first job at a daily newspaper, which I started 12 years ago this month in the swamps of south Louisiana, may have spoiled me as far as what to expect from public records laws. Louisiana, where I worked for five years and a place I dearly love, might not often be mistaken for a […]

How the session turned out for our furry and feathered friends

BY: - March 15, 2019

Adrian Teran-Tapia/ Capital News Service Animal welfare advocates cheered legislation passed during the 2019 General Assembly session which increased penalties for animal cruelty and mandated that pets receive more room to roam if tethered outside. “Overall, this year’s General Assembly brought significant victories for Virginia’s dogs and cats,” said Matthew Gray of the Virginia Humane Society. […]

Governor signs medical ‘fail first’ reform legislation

BY: - March 14, 2019

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. Past efforts to reform step therapy in Virginia have been met with resistance from health insurance companies. But this year’s bipartisan push to reform the practice — which can force patients to take medicines […]

Virginia Mercury

Newsboys, shoe-shiners and doormen will now have to be paid at least minimum wage

BY: - March 13, 2019

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. Starting July 1, newsboys, people who shine shoes, babysitters, ushers, doormen, concession attendants and theater cashiers will be required to be paid minimum wage. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the legislation into law Friday. Del. […]