VIRGINIA EXPLAINED

Shedding light on the state’s policy debates

Timing wasn’t the only thing that set Gov. Ralph Northam’s new mask mandate apart.When he announced the emergency order on Tuesday, more than a month later than nearby counterparts including Maryland and New Jersey, Northam repeatedly emphasized that enforcement would be different than similar requirements in other areas. While states...
Virginia is poised to become the 14th state to create its own health insurance exchange via two bills working their way through both chambers of the General Assembly.Filed on behalf of Gov. Ralph Northam, who endorsed new health care initiatives in a column last October, the legislation aims to...
Q: What do 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy,1 the building of a new coal-fired power plant in Southwest Virginia,2 the creation of the Fort Monroe Authority3 and the development of intercity passenger rail4 have in common?A: All of them have at one time or another been found to...
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...