VIRGINIA EXPLAINED

Virginia Explained: How can you save on residential solar?

BY: - July 22, 2022

Scammy internet ads and dubious “qualification” surveys about solar installation in Virginia abound online, but it is difficult to find clear, accurate information on what the state and federal government are doing to encourage cleaner energy consumption. With a price tag similar to that of a used car, Virginia homeowners looking to make a financial […]

Same-day voter registration is coming to Virginia. Here’s how it’ll work.

BY: - July 13, 2022

The big change to Virginia’s voting laws in the last two years made casting a ballot easier for people who like to get things done early. A new law taking effect this fall will do the same for procrastinators. Same-day voter registration is taking effect in the state in time for the congressional midterms in […]

Virginia explained: the lawsuit trying to force new House elections

BY: - April 29, 2022

When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the 2020 U.S. census, Virginia had a uniquely big problem. As the only two states with legislative elections scheduled for 2021, Virginia and New Jersey had a more urgent need to get the new population data and start the redistricting process in order to have new political maps in time […]

House and Senate lay out dueling visions for education funding in Virginia

BY: - February 24, 2022

Budget squabbles between the House and Senate are a normal part of business in the Virginia legislature. But debate broke out quickly this year after both chambers released their spending plans for K-12 education, which lay out competing visions on school construction, teacher pay and new “innovation” schools championed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Virginia Democrats […]

In push for school choice, Youngkin’s hope may lie in a lesser-known option

BY: - February 7, 2022

Late last week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin gathered more than two dozen leaders from Virginia colleges and universities to tout an educational initiative that’s largely faded from the state’s lexicon.  The governor was urging General Assembly lawmakers to support his push for “lab schools” — partnerships, he said, between institutions of higher learning and K-12 school […]

Two Hampton Roads health systems’ legal battle reignites old debate over state’s medical facility policy

BY: - May 18, 2021

For years, a battle between two competing hospital systems in Hampton Roads has spilled into the halls of the Virginia Capitol and the hands of sometimes reluctant legislators. Now, it’s spilled into the court system. In late April, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center sued Sentara, the region’s dominant health system, claiming Sentara worked deliberately to “cripple” […]

Virginia isn’t eliminating accelerated math. It’s one of many states rethinking math education.

BY: - April 26, 2021

A minor political furor erupted in Virginia last week — over math. It started with a Fox News story declaring that the state Department of Education was moving to eliminate all accelerated math classes before 11th grade, “effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.” Republican leaders soon joined […]

The State Corporation Commission

Virginia explained: What’s a triennial review and why should you care?

BY: - April 9, 2021

For the first time in six years, Virginia’s largest utility, which serves two-thirds of Virginia’s residential customers, will submit to a review of its base rates. Dominion Energy’s “triennial review,” coming after years of regulators reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in company overearnings, will likely be the powerful utility’s biggest battle of the year. […]

Virginia teachers are going to be assessed on ‘cultural competency.’ What does that mean?

BY: - April 1, 2021

Makya Little was helping her fourth-grade daughter review for the Virginia Studies SOL, a standardized test on state history, when she found herself taken aback by one of the questions on the study guide. “She gets to this one question that says ‘What’s the status of the early African?’” said Little, who lives in Prince […]

Virginia’s new big tech-backed data privacy law is the nation’s second. Critics say it doesn’t go far enough.

BY: - March 30, 2021

When Virginia’s General Assembly first took up legislation billed as a major step toward giving regular people more control over their data in an increasingly online world, some of the first testimony lawmakers heard came from tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon. Both companies said they were in full support of Virginia’s effort to become […]

Two per train? Why legislation mandating train crew size keeps getting filed.

BY: - February 4, 2021

Every year over the past three years, lawmakers in Virginia’s General Assembly have introduced legislation that would require railroads moving freight through the commonwealth “to operate with a crew of at least two individuals.”  This year, it’s being pushed by Del. Jeion Ward, D-Hampton, in a bill that’s been referred to the House Labor and […]

Yes, disobeying Virginia’s mask order could carry a criminal charge. But Northam appears to be counting on compliance.

BY: - May 28, 2020

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 like Maryland and Michigan […]