GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

It’s not just candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot.Voters will be also asked to decide if they want to amend the state Constitution to allow for tax exemptions affecting spouses of veterans and homeowners in flood-prone areas.Both proposed amendments would give localities the option to extend certain tax...
Conversion therapy, aimed at changing sexual orientation, has been widely deemed ineffective and potentially harmful by nearly every medical professional organization — yet it’s still legal in most of the country, including Virginia.Efforts to outlaw its use on minors by licensed professionals over the past five years have been stymied...
Del. Stephen Heretick, D-Portsmouth, says he broke with Democrats on redistricting after party leaders discarded his input on how his district should be drawn, put him through cloak-and-dagger conference calls and ordered him and other delegates not to cooperate with Republicans as they put together maps of their own.He...
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a permit allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross hundreds of Virginia streams and wetlands, The Roanoke Times reports.The action comes three days after a similar permit for West Virginia water crossings was vacated by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of...
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, canceled a floor session scheduled for Oct. 21 and 22 after Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced plans to veto a Republican-drafted map to fix 11 House districts a court has ruled were racially gerrymandered.Cox filed a status report with...
When it comes to doing something about the highest-in-the-nation eviction rates in Virginia’s cities, advocates say there’s no silver bullet.Instead, they’re pursuing dozens of possible policy fixes.Some would require legislative action and possibly state funding, such as a proposed eviction diversion program.Others would not. Among them is a proposal...
Gov. Ralph Northam announced the creation of a "Governor's Conservation Cabinet" Thursday intended to better protect the state's natural resources and improve environmental quality.But there's one thing that the group likely won't deal with: the two major pipeline projects that have become the most contentious environmental issues in Virginia."I...
The price tag attached to the proposed Medicaid work requirement that is making its way through a public comment period now could be as high as $25 million, according to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.And meanwhile, the institute, a liberal-leaning nonprofit that performs fiscal and policy analysis, estimates...
Better Know a Board is an occasional series exploring some of Virginia’s more obscure state boards and commissions.Name: Boxing, Martial Arts and Professional Wrestling Advisory Board.Purpose: To provide guidance on the regulations of fighting sports, both real and scripted.Meeting location: An office park in Henrico County.Regulating boxing and martial...
A George Mason University professor is reviving a 41-year-old record book of state government information, this time online and with a focus on women in Virginia politics.Toni-Michelle Travis, along with seven GMU students in the Schar School of Policy, is working on a new and improved digital version of the...