GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

Va. birth rates have declined, but regional differences tell a more complicated story

BY: - July 15, 2021

In mid-April, Virginia hospitals noted what was then a surprising trend: birth-related visits had declined by about 3.3 percent over the past year, despite early speculation that pandemic stay-at-home orders could lead to a baby boom. At the time, analysts with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association weren’t sure if the trend would bear out […]

COMMENTARY

A clearer picture is emerging of Glenn Youngkin

BY: - July 14, 2021

It was difficult, at first, figuring out who Glenn Youngkin is. The Republican nominee for governor in Virginia has been something of a chameleon so far, hard to characterize, often evasive on positions.  You get the sense this is no accident, that the candidate and his campaign would prefer to spout pithy platitudes – “We […]

VMI superintendent: ‘zero tolerance’ for racism, sexism

BY: - July 14, 2021

The head of the embattled Virginia Military Institute told a state oversight body Tuesday that there will be “zero tolerance for any more acts of racism and sexism” at the public military school in Lexington. “I’ve had an opportunity through about 25 hours worth of listening sessions to form my own assessment about the climate […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s Congressional delegation should support the president’s tax justice proposals

BY: - July 14, 2021

By Chris Wodicka As the immediate crisis of the pandemic and recession abates, Congress has a rare opportunity to address long-standing needs, including many that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Biden administration and congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement to fund physical infrastructure improvements — like roads and bridges — additional legislation has been […]

Virginia Republicans have been warning Democratic control was bad for business. CNBC disagrees.

BY: and - July 13, 2021

After Democrats took control of the General Assembly in 2020, a common refrain emerged among Republicans who opposed legislation that raised the minimum wage and added new anti-discrimination protections for employees. “The Democrat majority has done much to diminish Virginia’s reputation for being America’s ‘best state for business,’” said Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James […]

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

BY: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting this week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes […]

Virginia Bar Association cancels debate after Youngkin chooses to skip it

BY: - July 12, 2021

The Virginia Bar Association has cancelled its planned gubernatorial debate after Republican Glenn Youngkin broke with recent tradition by skipping what is usually the first face-to-face matchup of the general election. In a statement Monday, the Bar Association said the debate has been removed from the itinerary for its annual summer meeting later this month […]

Virginia State Capitol

Va. House candidate blocked from ballot after election official’s mistake

BY: - July 12, 2021

As a self-described “progressive populist” who already ran for the General Assembly three times as a Green Party candidate or independent, Jeff Staples knows he probably wouldn’t win even if state officials let him on the ballot. But he remains baffled as to why the State Board of Elections refused to do so despite proof the […]

COMMENTARY

Don’t be surprised if the GOP tests its anti-crime message in Virginia. But will it work?

BY: - July 12, 2021

One thing is sure watching local TV newscasts anywhere in America: if it bleeds, it leads. The nightly roundup of shootings, fires, sensational car crashes and other calamities has always been a mainstay of local broadcast journalism. And these days, gun deaths take up considerably more airtime. Nationally and in Virginia, numbers of incidents in […]

More than half of Virginia’s state-run mental hospitals are closing to new admissions

BY: - July 9, 2021

More than half of Virginia’s state-run mental hospitals are immediately closing to new admissions, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services announced Friday. The abrupt order from DBHDS Commissioner Alison Land comes amid a workforce crisis that’s resulted in a “dangerous environment where staff and patients are at increasing risk for physical harm,” she […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

BY: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]

Helicopters, cash payments and a new public health lab: How state agencies propose spending Virginia’s rescue fund money

BY: , , and - July 8, 2021

Virginia has $4.3 billion in federal aid to spend and no shortage of ideas. State agencies hoping to tap into American Rescue Plan funds have submitted wish lists that top more than $18 billion, floating proposals ranging from new helicopters for Virginia State Police to $1,000 cash payments for essential workers.  Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration […]