Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power both say low temperatures over the past week led its customers to set a record for electricity usage. Appalachian Power Spokesperson Teresa Hamilton Hall says the utility set its unofficial all-time peak by supplying 8,697 megawatt hours of electricity Friday morning. Dominion officials say their usage also reached a peak at 8:00 Friday, a morning of countless record lows for the date and, in Lynchburg‘s case, the lowest temperature ever recorded.
(Associated Press contributed to this report.)
A bill that would change Virginia’s voter photo ID law is now headed to Governor McAuliffe’s desk. Right now, anyone voting in person or applying in person for an absentee ballot must show a photo ID. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, the bill would require more people applying to vote absentee by mail to also submit a photocopy of their ID.
The General Assembly is a step closer toward passing a law that would permit public schools to hold some food fund-raisers that are currently banned. Federal law requires all foods sold during the school day must meet nutrition standards, but the law allows states to pass exemptions for fund-raisers. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
Efforts are underway in the General Assembly to exempt older Virginians from a boating safety law enacted after fatal accidents on Smith Mountain Lake. The bill’s sponsor says older boaters don’t need the course, but supporters of the current law say it makes boating safer in the commonwealth. WLNI’s Evan Jones has both sides of the Richmond debate.
State lawmakers pass budget amendments, but some Democrats lament continued lack of Medicaid expansion
The House of Delegates and Senate have both approved their amendments to the state’s two year budget. Both versions include pay raises for teachers and state employees. Democrats are unhappy the Senate budget does not include language that would enable Medicaid expansion as they and Governor McAuliffe have sought the last two sessions. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more on that side to the story.
The House and Senate both passed ethics overhaul bills Tuesday, but many senators who voted “yes” expressed plenty of reservations. They’re concerned that the myriad of new proposed ethics standards could trap many honest colleagues in unwitting violations. WLNI’s Evan Jones reports on the ethics debate.
The Virginia Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment designed to increase the number of charter schools in the state. Right now, only public school systems in Virginia can create charter schools — privately-operated schools that receive public education funds. The proposed change to the constitution would give that authority instead to the state Board of Education. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.