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.
The four-month decline in gas prices now appears to be over. Prices are likely to steadily rise now into spring, but analysts still expect the year-to-year difference to remain dramatic, remaining $1.00 or more lower per gallon than a year ago. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
Click here for Gas Buddy’s Virginia gas prices web site.
State Senator Bill Stanley is hoping for General Assembly passage of a bill that he says would prepare more high school students for good-paying, in-demand jobs simply by filling some empty seats. Stanley’s bill would require community colleges providing vocational and trade courses to notify high schools in regions they serve when those courses are not full — and offer those open spots to interested high school students. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
Virginia state employees may see at least a small pay raise under a new proposal by House Republicans. The state workers, including police and teachers, would receive pay raises between and one and two per cent. It’s the result of higher-than-anticipated payroll tax collections since July. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
Law school assistant dean: appeals court ruling may tell McDonnell “we think you might have gotten hosed”
A George Mason University School of Law assistant dean says an appeals court decision to hear former Governor McDonnell’s appeal may have impacts far beyond Virginia — and the judges may be telling McDonnell “we think you might have gotten hosed.” A Richmond-based federal appeals court ruled yesterday McDonnell may remain free while he appeals his corruption convictions, saying the appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact that could warrant a reversal or a new trial. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
The Transportation Security Administration says its screeners discovered 45 firearms in carry-on bags at Virginia airports last year — up more than 50% from the year before. Three of them were discovered by screeners at Lynchburg’s airport and one at Roanoke-Blacksburg. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.