Northam appoints first cabinet member to focus on coastal protection

BY: - September 22, 2018

A retired Navy admiral will serve as the state’s first special assistant to the governor for coastal adaptation and protection. Ann C. Phillips of Norfolk is tasked with finding a way to address the effects of sea-level rise and land subsidence along Virginia’s coast across state departments. Lawmakers in the eastern part of the state […]

Virginia Mercury

Sticker shock over Florence response; Roanoke chief balks on needle exchange; assault with a pigeon-filled fanny pack and more headlines

BY: - September 21, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. State lawmakers were reportedly shocked by the price tag attached to the response to Hurricane Florence, which ultimately veered south of the state after calls for some mandatory evacuations. Officials were authorized to spend $60 million, and so far have spent about $44 […]

Virginia Mercury

‘We want to show that we can make it right:’ Elections board member wants to tackle issues in state audit

BY: - September 21, 2018

A member of the Board of Elections called on the department to do a better job maintaining its voter rolls in the board’s first meeting since a state audit found major problems across the department. The study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found that the Department of Elections’ technology was often unreliable, […]

Can Virginia’s most vulnerable House Republican hang on to her seat?

BY: - September 21, 2018

Both candidates for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District are lawyers. Both are experienced politicians. And both are women, which is one reason why the race has become the most expensive and competitive in the state. U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, a Republican. is attempting to fend off  State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, and represent the Northern Virginia […]

State Sen. Tommy Norment

Senate Republicans fume over Medicaid work requirement time frame

BY: and - September 20, 2018

Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services has completed a draft of the state’s Medicaid work requirement proposal, which is now open for public comment before it goes to the federal government for approval. But when they were briefed on the work requirement during a meeting Thursday, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee gnashed their […]

Virginia Mercury

Human rights lawyer announces plan to challenge Sen. Dick Saslaw in a primary

BY: - September 20, 2018

The first Muslim woman elected to the Democratic National Committee will mount a primary challenge to Virginia’s most senior Democratic senator. Yasmine Taeb called herself a “real progressive” in a video announcing her candidacy. She took veiled shots at her opponent, Sen. Dick Saslaw, who has served 42 years in the General Assembly. “Unfortunately right […]

Virginians more supportive of Medicaid expansion than ever before, survey shows

BY: - September 20, 2018

A new statewide survey conducted by the University of Mary Washington shows that more Virginians support Medicaid expansion than ever before. The survey, based on telephone interviews with 801 Virginia adults, found that 76 percent support expansion, 18 percent oppose it and the remaining 6 percent are uncertain. The highest approval ratings were in Northern […]

Port’s cranes won’t be hit with tariffs; Norfolk federal office ‘rife’ with racist behavior; Henry County has the meats; and more headlines

BY: - September 20, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Massive cranes the Port of Virginia is planning to import from China were removed from the list of goods the Trump administration plans to hit with stiff new tariffs, saving the port about $10 million. – The Virginian-Pilot A federal investigation into the Department […]

Will thousands of new Medicaid enrollees inundate an already overloaded social services workforce?

BY: - September 20, 2018

Virginia’s 120 local social services departments are on the front lines when determining eligibility for benefit programs like Medicaid, and they’re trying to prepare for the wave of applicants they’ll likely see once Medicaid expansion hits the state in January. That could be a daunting task, though, as the state’s eligibility workers are already overworked and […]

Up to half of Medicaid expansion population could have mental-health or substance-use diagnoses

BY: - September 20, 2018

Based on the experiences of other states, about 50 percent of Virginia’s newly eligible Medicaid expansion population — about 200,000 people — could have behavioral health or substance-use diagnoses. In a presentation he made to the Joint Commission on Health Care on Tuesday, Dr. Daniel Carey, secretary of health and human resources, told lawmakers that […]

Opponents take a page from Brat’s 2014 playbook in 7th District race

BY: - September 20, 2018

Editor’s note: Whether Democrats can retake the House of Representatives is the big storyline of this fall’s midterm election cycle. Four competitive Virginia House races for seats currently held by Republicans, profiled this week in a series in the Mercury, could play a key role come Election Day.  In a 2014 primary race against an […]

Environmental groups sue over ‘rushed permits’ that allowed Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction to resume

BY: - September 19, 2018

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the suit on behalf of the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee. Construction of the 600-mile pipeline ground to a halt the beginning of August when the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled permits issued by the National Park Service allowing the pipeline to […]