VaNews

Wednesday March 29, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

Kelley Irby Osborn, Lunenburg

Executive Branch


MCAULIFFE'S TWEAKS TO BUDGET, BILLS, SET UP RECONVENE FIGHT

By ALAN SUDERMAN , Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is heading toward a fight next week with the GOP-controlled General Assembly over his tweaks to the state budget, amendments to other bills and 40 vetoes. McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced Tuesday he wants to slash funding for a 2019 commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the 1619 founding of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown, the first arrival of African slaves in the British colonies, and other parts of the state's colonial past. The planned event is a favorite of top Republicans, who have said the funding is necessary and is a solid investment.



MCAULIFFE SEEKS BUDGET CUSHION TO COUNTER TRUMP EFFECT ON STATE ECONOMY

By MICHAEL MARTZ , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is looking for additional money to cushion Virginia’s budget from the potential effects of actions taken or proposed by President Donald Trump in the first 68 days of his administration. McAuliffe has proposed 27 amendments to the two-year budget adopted by the General Assembly last month, including restored spending on economic incentives to develop solar power and prepare students for jobs in security, but his focus at a news conference Tuesday was potential damage to the state’s economy by the new president’s actions.



MCAULIFFE AMPS IT UP: TRUMP BUDGET IS ‘CRAZIEST,’ BAY CUTS ARE ‘DUMBEST’

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When President Trump took office, Gov. Terry McAuliffe managed to sound surprisingly conciliatory. McAuliffe (D), who had gone all-out to elect his old friend Hillary Clinton, said he has known Trump for 20 years and could do business with him. When the National Governors Association met in Washington last month, McAuliffe — who leads the group — spent a three-hour dinner in private conversation with Trump. The two men toasted one another.



MCAULIFFE OPPOSES PROPOSAL TO ALLOW FAMILIES OF SUICIDE VICTIMS TO OBTAIN POLICE REPORTS

By PATRICK WILSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Navy Lt. Sean McCarthy spent a week with his parents in Arizona before moving from California to Virginia Beach. Within a week, Virginia Beach police told his parents in 2014, he had killed himself in his apartment. Kevin and Linda McCarthy were stunned. Their son had just bought furniture for the apartment and was recently promoted. When the parents arrived in Virginia, police acted as if the case was closed. Wondering if the police had properly investigated, the McCarthys asked for the police reports and were repeatedly denied.



MCAULIFFE PROPOSAL COULD GUT TOWING BILL THAT TOOK AIM AT ARLINGTON

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Sun Gazette

In what could end up being a win for the Arlington County Board and a loss for the county’s business community, Gov. McAuliffe has recommended significant changes to legislation setting restrictions on the county government’s ability to regulate towing. In a message sent to the General Assembly March 27, McAuliffe formally recommended gutting language in the bill that would prohibit Northern Virginia localities from requiring a “second signature” before vehicles could be towed from commercial properties.



MCAULIFFE VETOES DEL. CHARLES POINDEXTER'S ANTI-SANCTUARY CITIES BILL

Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation banning localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced his veto Monday, saying the measure would stoke fears among the state’s immigrant communities. He had promised to veto House Bill 2000, introduced by Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Franklin, when it passed the GOP-controlled General Assembly in February.



GOVERNOR VETOES SPOTSYLVANIA PARKWAY BILL AFTER BACKLASH FROM RESIDENTS

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Spotsylvania Parkway’s picturesque—and pricey—landscaping is here to stay for now. Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently vetoed a bill that could have turned the parkway’s landscaping over to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The two-mile stretch of Spotsylvania Parkway at issue is privately landscaped, and residents of Lee’s Parke and Virginia Heritage foot the bill under a “Cost-Sharing Agreement” signed in 2005 by Lee’s Parke developer Fried Cos. and Virginia Heritage developer Lennar Corp.

General Assembly


AFTER GOP HEALTH BILL’S DEMISE, MORE STATES WEIGH EXPANDING MEDICAID

By STEPHANIE ARMOUR, Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

A growing number of states are considering expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, after last week’s abrupt collapse of the GOP health bill and a development that could make it harder for Republicans to undo the law in the future. Notably, the GOP-led Kansas legislature voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid over the protests of the state’s Republican governor. In addition, states including Virginia, Maine and North Carolina are taking steps toward growing their Medicaid programs now that the ACA seems unlikely to go away and federal money for such an expansion appears more secure.



STATE SENATOR: TRUMP'S ENERGY ORDER MEANS ITS TIME TO END 'FARCE' ON UTILITY RATE REVIEW

By ROBERT ZULLO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Calling it a “crushing attack on American industry,” President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that sends the Environmental Protection Agency back to the drawing board on his predecessor’s signature piece of climate-change regulation, the Clean Power Plan, intended to curb carbon emissions from power plants. Trump’s move, staged in front of an applauding group of coal miners, has drawn howls of protest from environmental groups as an irresponsible backward step on fighting global warming.



AT TOWN HALL, TOSCANO, DEEDS DISCUSS HEALTH CARE, PIPELINE

By MICHAEL BRAGG, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, held a town hall Tuesday night at Monticello High School, giving constituents a chance to hear and ask questions about the most recent session of the General Assembly. Several dozen people showed up, with the bulk of their conversations and questions centering on health care and the environment. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project in particular drew out frustration from the audience.

State Elections


STEWART LOOKS TO RIDE CONFEDERATE NOSTALGIA TO RICHMOND

By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Near the end of a recent campaign event at a seafood restaurant in Roanoke, Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart called for somebody to bring out a prop that he joked could get the group “kicked out.” “Whoaaaaa!” a woman in the crowd blurted out as a Confederate battle flag was pulled from a pouch and unfurled in full view of the camera being used to stream video of the rally on Facebook Live.

State Government


VIRGINIA'S NEW 'CYBER RANGE' OFFERS SAFE SPACE FOR STUDENTS TO HONE HACKING SKILLS

By JACOB DEMMITT, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

There’s a more prevalent homework assignment of a different kind on the horizon: hacking into computers. It comes courtesy of the new Virginia Cyber Range, which offers isolated servers and dummy machines set up for the educational purpose of being compromised.

Congress


CONGRESSMAN REQUESTS FEDERAL INQUIRY

By VANESSA REMMERS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A congressman has called for a federal investigation of disparities in student treatment within the Richmond region’s schools. U.S. Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-4th, requested an investigation by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights on Monday, the same day that a Richmond Times-Dispatch article detailed higher suspension rates and over-identification of African-American students with disabilities.

Economy/Business


AMAZON TO OCCUPY FREDERICK BUILDING, PROVIDE 1,000 JOBS

By ONOFRIO CASTIGLIA, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

Amazon will be in the more than 1 million-square-foot e-commerce distribution center being built here, the governor’s office confirmed Tuesday. The digital commerce company’s project will “create more than 1,000 new jobs,” according to a Tuesday news release. Virginia “successfully competed against West Virginia” to get the White Hall Commerce Center.



AMAZON TO BRING 1,000-PLUS JOBS TO FREDERICK COUNTY

By STAFF REPORT, Northern Virginia Daily

More than 1,000 jobs are expected to be created in Frederick County as a result of plans by Amazon to open an e-commerce warehouse and distribution operation in the White Hall Commerce Center. Gov. Terry McAuliffe broke the news Tuesday about the new, one-million-square foot facility. He praised Amazon for choosing Virginia over West Virginia, the other state that was in the running for the project.



SOLAR JOBS RISE 65 PERCENT IN VIRGINIA, REPORT FINDS

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The number of solar jobs in Virginia climbed by 65 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonprofit group. The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, which defines solar workers as those who spend at least 50 percent of their time on solar-related work, found there were 3,236 solar jobs in Virginia last year, ranking 33rd per capita among U.S. states and the District of Columbia.



OFFICIALS HAVE MIXED REACTION ON TRUMP COAL ORDER

By ROBERT SORRELL , Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Coal industry supporters in Southwest Virginia praised President Donald Trump’s order Tuesday reversing his predecessor’s restrictions on fossil fuel production, while environmentalists denounced the action. The order unravels former President Barack Obama’s efforts to curb global warming, eliminating nearly a dozen measures to boost domestic energy production, especially oil, natural gas and coal.

Transportation


MARYLAND JOINS VIRGINIA IN PROPOSING TALKS TO REVISE THE METRO COMPACT

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The push to reform Metro’s governance and financing is gaining a new backer, as the Maryland General Assembly prepares to join Virginia in formally proposing talks to revise the Metro Compact, legislators said Tuesday. Two Montgomery County lawmakers have inserted language in the Maryland budget that is similar – but not identical – to a provision already enacted in Richmond regarding the compact, which spells out how Metro is governed and financed.

Virginia Other


RATES OF OVERDOSE DEATHS RISING IN SUBURBIA, REPORT FINDS

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Heroin and opioid painkillers are cutting life short for Americans who live in communities usually considered insulated from substance abuse, according to a national report. Communities just like Salem. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual county health rankings report shows the death rate from drug overdoses in Salem is as high as that of Roanoke’s. Roanoke County’s is not far behind. “The mortality rate is somewhat a fictional number,” said Salem Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Bowers. “We have a lot of people dying and Narcan brings them back.



UNDER PRESSURE, JIM WEBB DECLINES TO BE RECOGNIZED AS A DISTINGUISHED NAVAL ACADEMY GRADUATE

By DAN LAMOTHE , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former senator Jim Webb declined Tuesday to accept an award as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, citing pressure from a “small but vociferous group” of female alumni who are angry about past statements he made that women aren’t suited for combat and shouldn’t attend the academy. Webb (D-Va.) was expected to receive a Distinguished Graduate Award along with four other alumni Friday

Local


RICHMOND SETS GUIDELINES TO SPEND $2.8 MILLION SET ASIDE FOR PUBLIC ART

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Richmond has $2.8 million socked away for public art projects, but until recently didn’t have a road map for how to spend it. The city’s Public Art Commission has been working behind the scenes for over a year to fix that, releasing a draft of its Public Art Master Plan last week — a 130-page document that lays out a broad vision for future art projects around the city.



HENRICO ATTEMPTS TURNAROUND OF LARGEST, MOST BELEAGUERED FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED HOUSING COMPLEX

By DEBBIE TRUONG , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Inside one apartment in Henrico County’s largest federally subsidized housing complex, the bathroom ceiling leaked, the stove thermostat was faulty and the windows wouldn’t stay open. Across Essex Village, stairs were in disrepair, and there were mice and leaking water heaters. In November, raw sewage bubbled to the surface of manhole covers and, in December, drains backed up in four ground-level apartments.



FBI INVESTIGATING TIES BETWEEN EX-NORFOLK SHERIFF BOB MCCABE AND ODU

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

A federal probe into the Sheriff’s Office has extended to Old Dominion University, where former Sheriff Bob McCabe provided private security for years and served as a prominent booster. It is unclear what FBI investigators are looking into at the school. A university spokeswoman confirmed that ODU was served a federal grand jury subpoena relating to McCabe in recent months,



VIRGINIA BEACH PROPOSES TAX HIKES TO PAY FOR FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN, STORMWATER IMPROVEMENTS

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Full-day kindergarten and drainage improvements to mitigate flooding could soon be on the way in Virginia Beach. But both would come at a cost to taxpayers. City Manager Dave Hansen wants to raise fees and homeowners’ real estate taxes to pay for the projects.

TV/Radio


VIRGINIA'S LAWMAKERS DIVIDED OVER PROPOSED DEFENSE BUDGET

By MATT LASLO, WVTF

President Trump is calling to increase defense spending by $54 billion, which could mean a big boost for Virginia’s economy. But, Matt Laslo reports from Washington that not all of the state’s lawmakers are on board. President Trump vowed to drastically increase the Pentagon's budget, so while his request for an additional $54 billion may seem large, defense hawks point out it's only a 3% increase over last year.

Online News


VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE POLL: ED GILLESPIE TIED WITH DEMOCRATS IN GENERAL ELECTION

By FENIT NIRAPPIL , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Republican Ed Gillespie would tie with either of the Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in this year’s gubernatorial contest, according to new survey results released Wednesday. Gillespie, a longtime GOP strategist and former counselor to George W. Bush, drew 40 percent of registered voters to Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s 39 percent in the poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. In a head to head matchup with former congressman Tom Perriello, who is competing with Northam for the Democratic nomination, Gillespie and Perriello tied at 39 percent each



QUESTIONS ABOUT ENDORSEMENT LIST, BUT STEWART CAMP WON'T ANSWER THEM

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Corey Stewart's campaign for governor put out a list of 130 endorsements from the faith community late last week, including a reporter who asked repeatedly not to be included, a Christopher Newport student who now has "second thoughts" and a Newport News man who's not 100 percent decided. Faced with questions about the list, the campaign declined to provide contact information for people on it, or to share its definition of "faith leader," one of the descriptors it gave for people on the list.



THERE'S MORE THAN ONE VIRGINIA WAY

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Last week's news that Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment had a new PAC called "The Virginia Way" was a particular surprise for Matt Walton, who ran for the House of Delegates two years ago in metro Richmond. That's because Walton already had a PAC called "Virginia Way."


Today's Sponsor:

Kelley Irby Osborn, Lunenburg

Editorials


TWO SUGGESTIONS FOR GO VIRGINIA

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Let’s try some counter-intuitive thinking today. Last week, a group of business leaders from Lynchburg to Blacksburg met in Roanoke to try to chart a new economic direction for the region. Their newly-formed council is part of a state initiative called GO Virginia, the goal of which is to spur economic growth by giving the business community a pot of money to spend on “transformational” initiatives. Behind that lies a specific thought — that business leaders will be able to look past political boundaries that government officials can’t.

Columnists


SCHAPIRO: IS THERE AN ECHO OF TRUMP IN MCAULIFFE?

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Only 115 miles separate Richmond and Washington. But the cities used to be worlds apart. These days, they have a lot in common: bitter politics, policy gridlock and, most notably, a chief executive with a huge personality, huge ideas — and a huge gap in his knowledge of government. Stung by the failure, at the hands of fellow Republicans, of a replacement for Obamacare, President Donald Trump is learning — as Gov. Terry McAuliffe still is — that a reputation as a tireless, getting-to-yes negotiator given to glitzy showmanship can mean bupkis in the unglamorous setting of government, where equivocation is the rule.

From vpap.org


VISUALIZATION: HISTORY OF GUBERNATORIAL VETOES

The Virginia Public Access Project

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has wielded his veto pen 111 times in four years. VPAP's latest data visualization shows how that compares with Virginia's five previous chief executives.