State lawmakers pass budget amendments, but some Democrats lament continued lack of Medicaid expansion

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe 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.

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Lawmakers approve ethics reform bills, but with some deep reservations

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe 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.

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Delegates debate: must Virginia’s Attorney General defend state laws and constitutional provisions?

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYA bill making its way through the House of Delegates would require Virginia Attorneys General to defend state laws and constitutional amendments in appeals courts — even if they disagree with them. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

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Va. Senate approves proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe 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.

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Equal Right Amendment debate lives on in General Assembly

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLY43 years after Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, Virginia is one of the states where supporters still hope for adoption that will lead to eventual ratification. Senators voted in favor yesterday, although approval there is not yet final. WLNI’s Evan Jones reports on the debate.

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The party’s over; gas prices appear ready to start rising again

Gas-Prices1The 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.

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Click here for Gas Buddy’s Virginia gas prices web site.

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Stanley bill aims to prepare more HS students for workplace by filling empty CC seats

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYState 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.

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Teachers, police may see a pay raise after all this year

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYVirginia 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.

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Law school assistant dean: appeals court ruling may tell McDonnell “we think you might have gotten hosed”

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

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.

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TSA screeners find record number of guns in carry-on bags at Va. airports – including three at LYH

Gun-Airport-9-21

TSA photo

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.

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