GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Youngkin says report on ‘honesty gap’ points to decline in Virginia schools

BY: - May 19, 2022

Pandemic learning loss and subpar standards have led to a significant decline in outcomes for Virginia’s K-12 students, Gov. Glenn Youngkin and his education appointees argued Thursday as they presented a new data analysis of school performance. Pointing to what the 34-page Virginia Department of Education report described as an “honesty gap” between what state […]

U.S. House Judiciary Committee debates abortion in advance of landmark court ruling

BY: - May 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — The national debate over abortion rights raged in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, as Democrats warned of the dangers of a potential end to the constitutional right and Republicans argued that legislatures should determine abortion laws. The hearing came just weeks after a leaked draft opinion from Associate Justice Samuel Alito […]

Senators reach deal on care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

BY: - May 18, 2022

The two leaders of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Montana Democrat Jon Tester and Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, have reached a deal with House leaders to pass a bill to extend health care access to veterans for conditions related to exposure to toxic chemicals during their service, the pair announced Wednesday. The consensus bill […]

Virginia lawmakers dodge questions on whether budget might include new policy on skill games

BY: - May 17, 2022

Budget leaders in the Virginia General Assembly won’t say if they’re considering changing the state’s contested ban on slots-like skill machines through the budget, despite that possibility already convincing a judge to order a lengthy delay in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban. Last month, lawyers challenging the ban as unconstitutional pointed to the […]

U.S. House to vote on $28 million for FDA to relieve infant formula shortage

BY: - May 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democratic appropriators in the U.S. House unveiled a $28 million emergency spending bill Tuesday intended to address a nationwide infant formula shortage that has left parents and caregivers struggling to find food for babies. The U.S. House is expected to vote this week on the bill, which would provide funding to the U.S. Food […]

COMMENTARY

The federal rescue plan helped rural Virginia. Why not make parts of it permanent?

BY: - May 17, 2022

By Anita Royston In early 2021, rural communities like Pittsylvania County were struggling. A full year of the pandemic had taken its toll on us — some schools were still closed, health care costs were still going up, many people couldn’t return to work, and even more were struggling to make ends meet. The American […]

New federal programs offer Virginia households a subsidy for affordable high-speed internet  

BY: - May 17, 2022

Federal and state officials are rolling out a fleet of new programs in an expansive effort to bring faster and less expensive internet to all Virginians, especially those who have had trouble connecting in the past. The Biden administration announced last week an agreement with internet providers that will effectively offer free internet access to […]

Virginia gas prices hit new records as budget impasse continues

BY: - May 16, 2022

The average price of gas in Virginia hit a new record of $4.319 per gallon Monday as state lawmakers continue to debate relief for people struggling to afford higher fuel costs, according to data from AAA. Gov. Glenn Youngkin and his Republican allies have pressed for an emergency suspension of the state’s 26-cent per gallon […]

COMMENTARY

What’s behind the U.S. baby formula shortage – and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again

BY: - May 16, 2022

By Dr. Steven Abrams A baby formula shortage has added to the woes of American parents already confronted with the pressures of raising an infant during a pandemic in a country ranked low for family-friendly policies. Media reports have highlighted the plight of mothers, fathers and caregivers across the U.S. who have scrambled to find scarce supplies, or driven long distances to buy […]

What’s ‘reasonable and prudent’ when it comes to Dominion offshore wind project’s costs?

BY: - May 16, 2022

Dominion Energy is seeking approval to build what will be the largest offshore wind power project in the United States off the coast of Virginia Beach, pitched by the company, some lawmakers and business groups as key to positioning Virginia as a hub for an industry on the cusp of a boom. But with hearings […]

COMMENTARY
Tulips are blooming at the Virginia Capitol, but a budget deal remained elusive Monday. (Photo by Graham Moomaw)

A farce in one act: imagining a job performance review for Virginia’s policymaking elite

BY: - May 16, 2022

Setting: A large conference room somewhere in downtown Richmond. On one side of the table sits the representative from Human Resources who’s there to conduct the annual job performance review. On the other sit 140 members of the General Assembly and the head of the executive branch, his excellency Glenn Youngkin. (Curtain rises. Scene opens:) […]

Virginia senator involved in skill-game suit invokes special session to delay hearing

BY: - May 13, 2022

Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, invoked his duties as a sitting lawmaker to request a delay in a high-profile lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on slots-like skill games, a move that appears to have bought his client valuable time to continue operating machines the General Assembly has tried to outlaw. Though a judicial order granting […]