VIRGINIA EXPLAINED

Shedding light on the state’s policy debates

On July 8, as rush hour clogged the roads of Alexandria, a slow-moving southbound storm caused a deluge of rain to fall over the city.And fall. And fall. And fall.All throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, precipitation and flood records were shattered.By the end of a single hour, 3.44...
Virginia's new Democratic majorities will have at least three different redistricting reform proposals to choose from in the 2020 session. But only one would take away the General Assembly's constitutional power to redraw the state's political maps next year.For years, Democrats have called for the creation of an independent...
Incoming Democratic majorities in Virginia agree on a lot when it comes to labor policy. They’ve pledged to raise the minimum wage, address paid family leave and ban employment discrimination against LGBT people.But one question has sharply divided the party and even drawn the attention of two leading Democratic...
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...