VIRGINIA EXPLAINED

Shedding light on the state’s policy debates

Voting may be over and Democrats appear to have captured majorities in the House and Senate, but that doesn’t mean Virginia has official election winners yet.That will be formally declared Nov. 18, when the state Board of Elections certifies all elections. Before that, local elected officials need to count...
In recent weeks, several states have settled opioid lawsuits brought against Purdue Pharma. Virginia isn't one them.Attorney General Mark Herring said in a release he won’t agree to a settlement until it’s in the “best interest of Virginians” and Purdue and the Sacklers “must face real, significant, personal accountability.”The...
The card itself is pretty unimpressive considering the privilege it conveys.They don't even laminate it for you.Last month, in a terse letter, Richmond's circuit court clerk notified me that my Virginia concealed weapon permit was enclosed. There was no "Spider Man"-style admonishment about great power and great responsibility."Please sign...
Say that I've got a gun for sale.I have a few options. I can sell it to a licensed gun dealer or place it on consignment with one, in which case that dealer would be required to perform a background check on anyone who wants to buy it. I...
Things have gotten a little confusing in Hanover County's 97th House of Delegates District.There have been two different winners from two nomination processes for the Republican candidate in that House of Delegates seat. In November, all of the General Assembly's seats are up for a vote."Virginia’s process is something...
Update: After this story was published, the federal judge vacated his decision on Virginia's physician-only law, saying he wants to hear more evidence during trial. Read more here. News of legislatures in Georgia, Alabama and Ohio either considering or passing laws restricting access to abortions have dominated national headlines in...
According to a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbook allowed for use in Virginia high school classrooms, the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles were a burst of violence brought on by black Americans’ frustration about discrimination.But that’s not the whole story: Before the riots broke out, there was a violent...
Every year Virginia lawmakers introduce bills to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Every year, they fail despite overwhelming public support.Now, a handful of locally elected prosecutors are taking up the issue, announcing that they will no longer prosecute most simple possession cases.Not all local judges, however, are...
The House of Delegates, on a party line vote last week, rejected amendments by Gov. Ralph Northam aimed at undoing budget language that would bar Virginia from linking to a network of carbon-trading states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, without approval from the General Assembly.The outcome leaves the Democratic governor...
Editor's note: First in an occasional series explaining Virginia's policy debates.A news release that Gov. Ralph Northam issued in late March couldn't have come as much of a surprise to anyone. It mirrored another from last year, in which he explained why he vetoed a string of health care...