GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Republican senator breaks with GOP to oppose 15-week abortion bill in Virginia

BY: - January 20, 2023

Despite backers characterizing Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to largely ban abortions after 15 weeks in Virginia as “a consensus” position, a Senate panel Friday rejected it, with one Republican joining unanimous Democratic opposition.  “I wish I could vote for this bill,” said Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, a practicing OB-GYN who proposed an amendment to […]

Three interesting bills of the week: journalism tax credits, negligent fires and cyclist exemptions

BY: - January 20, 2023

Hundreds of bills are filed for General Assembly consideration each year. In this occasional series, the Mercury takes a look at a few of the proposals that might not otherwise make headlines during the whirlwind legislative session. House Bill 2061: Tax credits for local journalism This legislation, from Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, creates a nonrefundable […]

A Virginia lawmaker says it’s time to scrap the official Robert E. Lee license plate

BY: - January 18, 2023

Over the last few years, many Virginia officials have made it clear they don’t want the state to officially venerate Robert E. Lee anymore. The massive, state-owned Robert E. Lee statue is gone from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Other Lee statues were removed from both the Virginia Capitol and the Virginia section of the U.S. Capitol’s […]

Youngkin said to back push to reauthorize so-called skill machines in Virginia

BY: - January 18, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration is tentatively backing a top Republican lawmaker’s proposal to reauthorize so-called skill machines in Virginia and use some of the money they generate to crack down on illegal gambling, according to multiple Capitol Square sources. That stance could potentially mean another reprieve for the slots-like games the state has spent years […]

Virginia Senate panel blocks campaign finance reform bills, again

BY: - January 17, 2023

Shortly after a Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to defeat a bill creating an across-the-board $20,000 cap on donations to political candidates running for the General Assembly and executive branch offices, the same panel took up another bill that would have only banned political donations from publicly regulated utilities like Dominion Energy. Republican senators on […]

Shared power used to be the norm in statehouses. Now it’s nearly extinct.

BY: - January 16, 2023

By Scott S. Greenberger / Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts  Terry Kilgore has been a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994. During that time, there have been four years in which the GOP controlled the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature. For two years, Democrats held […]

Can Virginia lawmakers find a way to fix the state’s ‘weird’ weed laws?

BY: - January 16, 2023

At a sleek new store called Cannabist in Richmond’s Carytown shopping district, anyone with an easy-to-obtain medical cannabis card can buy a full range of marijuana products strongly regulated by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Right across the street, a vape shop has a sign advertising largely unregulated delta-8, which also gets users high but […]

In Virginia, ‘patchwork’ of ordinances makes public-sector organizing a maze

BY: - January 16, 2023

Jan. 17 is the date when Prince William County teachers and staff will begin voting on whether to join the growing number of public-sector workers who have maneuvered through Virginia’s maze of collective bargaining ordinances. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. workers employed by state and local governments belong to a union, compared to only 7% of […]

Three interesting bills of the week: declawing cats, antidepressants and the UDC

BY: - January 13, 2023

Hundreds of bills are filed for General Assembly consideration each year. In this occasional series, the Mercury will take a look at a few of the proposals that might not otherwise make headlines during the whirlwind legislative session. House Bill 2162: Eliminating tax exemptions for the United Daughters of the Confederacy This legislation, from House […]

Youngkin halted Ford battery plant efforts in Virginia over concerns about China

BY: - January 12, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration halted efforts to site a Ford battery plant in Virginia late last year over concerns about Chinese Communist Party influence.  Speaking to reporters after the annual State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday, Youngkin said his administration “felt that the right thing to do was to not recruit Ford as a front […]

U.S. attorney general names special counsel for classified docs found in Biden’s garage

BY: and - January 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House revealed Thursday morning that more classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president were discovered outside of secure government facilities, this time in the garage at his Wilmington, Delaware home.  The files have since been turned over to the U.S. Justice Department, which opened a special counsel investigation […]

As election-year General Assembly session begins, Youngkin says Virginia is on ‘right path’

BY: - January 11, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked Virginia lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and “get more done” in a State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday that kicked off the 2023 General Assembly session. Speaking to both chambers of the politically split legislature, Youngkin said Virginia is “substantially better off than it was last year” but “still a […]