RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia GOP House caucus has named its leadership team in an important election year.The Republicans officially named House Majority Leader Kirk Cox as speaker designee, the de facto replacement for retiring Speaker William J. Howell. Cox would be named speaker in January if Republicans hold on to a majority.Del. Todd Gilbert was named as the majority leader in waiting. Republicans will be looking to maintain or even grow their 66 to 34 majority in the lower chamber. The GOP will be defending several districts where Hillary Clinton won in last year’s presidential contest.Howell announced his retirement Monday. Cox said the caucus wanted to announce its leadership team early so it could show a unified front heading into the election dance.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have approved legislation banning localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.The Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to approve the measure after a contentious debate about what kind of message it would send.Republicans said the bill is needed to show that Virginia respects the rule of law and undocumented immigrants are not entitled to special privileges in sanctuary cities. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has promised to veto the bill, saying it stokes fear among the state’s immigrant communities.Since President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month to strip funding from sanctuary cities, states across the country have taken action, with some moving to limit such communities and others adding protections for immigrants.
With Immigration legislation in the forefront of lawmaker’s minds – New data released by a bipartisan organization that supports immigration reform highlights the contributions immigrants have in every congressional district. WLNI’s Ian Price has details on immigration’s impact in our area:
A full breakdown of the numbers from New American Economy can be found here
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld a Virginia law allowing only federal, statewide and General Assembly candidates to be identified by party affiliation on the ballot.The Powhatan County Republican Committee sued the Virginia State board of Elections over the law in 2015, arguing that it was unfair that candidates for local offices can’t be identified on the ballot as Republicans, Democrats or other parties.But a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on yesterday unanimously upheld a decision from a lower court, which found the state’s law to be constitutional.The appeals court said Virginia officials have important reasons for keeping political affiliation off local ballots, including “minimizing partisanship at the local government level.”
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Federal regulators are seeking input from people in central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.A Charlottesville TV station reports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has the final say on interstate pipelines, is holding a public hearing tonight in Nelson County and tomorrow night in Staunton.The proposed 600-mile pipeline would carry natural gas and serve public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina, including Dominion and Duke Energy.Proponents say the pipeline will generate thousands of jobs, enrich local tax collections and attract businesses seeking relatively cheap natural gas. Opponents worry it will harm the environment and say the companies behind it haven’t done enough to show the project is necessary.
Lynchburg Police are looking for a woman suspected of taking stealing steak, shrimp and lobster tails in three different recent thefts from the Timberlake Road Kroger. Police say the same woman appears to be responsible for all three incidents, helping herself to more than $445 worth between January 10th and yesterday. Police say in the most recent theft, the suspect arrived in a red two-door pickup truck.
(Continue reading for the full Lynchburg Police news release.)