Virginia

Republicans Hold VA House | 01-12-2018

After a couple of court rulings and a rare, random drawing, control of the Virginia House - firmly in Republican hands before the Nov. 7 election but up in the air afterward - appears to have finally been decided in Republicans’ favor. A recount...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

Governors In Brief - January 15 2018 | 01-12-2018

SANDOVAL SAYS NV GUN LAW IS A MISFIRE NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) filed court documents in early January that argue a voter-approved ballot measure that requires background checks for firearms purchases...

McAuliffe Proposes Fix for VA Teacher Shortage | 12-15-2017

Citing “a severe and growing shortage of qualified teachers,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order last week that directs the Virginia Board of Education to adopt emergency regulations to allow institutions to offer...

States With Most to Lose by Elimination of SALT Deduction | 12-15-2017

Taxpayers in nine high-income, high-tax states claimed more than 60 percent of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions on federal tax returns nationwide in 2014, according to the Tax Foundation. Seven of those states, which include California, where...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Dogging It | 12-08-2017

The Virginia governor’s mansion, meanwhile, is getting set to host a new resident of its own. That’s right, a black Labrador pooch named Murphy is going to be kicking it big time around the home’s stately grounds for the next four years...

Politics in Brief - December 11 2017 | 12-08-2017

DATES SET FOR VA HOUSE RECOUNTS: Recounts of three close VIRGINIA House races on Nov. 7, in the 40th, 94th and 68th districts, have been set for Dec. 13 and 14, 19, and 20, respectively. A preliminary hearing for a potential fourth recount in the 28th...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Politics In Brief - December 04 2017 | 12-01-2017

RECOUNTS LIKELY IN AT LEAST TWO VA HOUSE RACES With control of the VIRGINIA House of Delegates hanging in the balance, Democrats in the state have filed for recounts in two close November House races: in the 40th District, where Del. Tim Hugo (R) defeated...

Governors in Brief - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

RAUNER SIGNS TWO IL ANTI-HARASSMENT BILLS : ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed two measures last week aimed at curbing sexual harassment in the Prairie State statehouse. The measures require all lawmakers, lobbyists and state employees to undergo...

Control of VA House Could Hinge on 55 Absentee Ballots | 11-17-2017

After apparently claiming 15 GOP-held seats in the Virginia House of Delegates in this month’s legislative elections, Democrats only need one more seat to take control of the chamber. The outcome in three districts, however, awaits recounts. And...

Dems Score Big Gains in State Legislative Races | 11-10-2017

Just two states - New Jersey and Virginia - held general elections on Nov. 7 in which state legislative seats were contested. Democrats made modest gains in New Jersey, where all 80 seats in the Assembly and all 40 seats in the Senate were up for grabs...

General Legislative Elections in Two States on Nov 7 | 11-03-2017

Just two states - New Jersey and Virginia - will hold general elections on Nov. 7 in which state legislative seats will be contested. Louisiana and Mississippi also hold legislative elections in odd-numbered years but all legislators in those two states...

Russian Hacking Speeds Shift Away From Electronic-Only Voting Machines | 10-06-2017

After the recount in Florida in the 2000 presidential election with its infamous “hanging chads,” many states and counties, with the aid of federal funding from the Help America Vote Act, replaced their paper-based voting systems with, in...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

VA Ditching Touchscreen Voting Machines Ahead of Nov Election | 09-15-2017

On Nov. 7 Virginia will hold a governor’s race that the Washington Post described as “a harbinger of the 2018 midterms and a test of politics in the era of President Trump.” The state’s voters will also decide contests for lieutenant...

Trump Promises Opioid Emergency Declaration | 08-18-2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare a federal emergency aimed at addressing the national opioid abuse crisis, but what that means to beleaguered governors seeking to quell the crisis remains unclear. The president...

Governors In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

LEPAGE GETS RIGHT-TO-WORK AGREEMENT IN ME MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) reached an agreement with the Pine Tree State’s largest public employee union that, if endorsed by members, would eliminate mandatory union fees for workers in jobs represented...

City, State Officials Seek To Avoid Becoming Next Charlottesville | 08-18-2017

In the wake of the violent clashes between white-nationalist demonstrators and counter-protesters that left a 32-year-old woman dead in Charlottesville, Virginia this month, city and state officials across the country are taking steps to try to avoid...

Trump Voter Fraud Commission Sparks State Backlash | 07-07-2017

There were some early fireworks last month after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity - assembled to investigate President Donald Trump’s claims that voter fraud is rampant in America and cost him the popular vote in last year’s...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Health & Science - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Louisiana Signs A Trio Of Bills LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signs a trio of bills aimed at addressing the Pelican State’s severe opioid crisis. Those measures include: SB 55 , which requires doctors to check the state’s prescription...

Business - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Nevada Signs SB 240 NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signs SB 240 , which adds e-sports events – such as competitive video gaming - to the list for which betting is allowed (U.S NEWS & WORLD REPORT). Nevada Signs AB 113 Staying in NEVADA...

Education - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Louisiana Gives Approves To HB 269 The LOUISIANA House gives final approval to HB 269 , which would require management boards for LSU, Southern University and other schools to spell out policies aimed at protecting campus speech, “including without...

More Govs Join Climate Alliance | 06-09-2017

Nine more states last week joined the newly-created U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition to uphold the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international coalition aimed at combatting the impacts of global climate change. The coalition was formed...

Politics In Brief - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Russian Election Cyberattacks Broader Than Indicated U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of VIRGINIA , the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Russian cyberattacks on U.S. election systems were broader and impacted more states than indicated...

McAuliffe Pushes VA Carbon Cap | 05-19-2017

Saying the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to address climate change, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) issued an executive order directing the state Department of Environmental Quality to begin assembling regulations to reduce carbon...

Education - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves Senate Bill 7 The TEXAS House approves Senate Bill 7 , which would require principals and superintendents to report teachers having inappropriate relationships with students or face a state jail felony or a fine of up to $10,000. It...

Governors In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Christie Vetoes Pension Bill Deriding it as handing out “a blank check,” NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) conditionally vetoed legislation ( SB 3040 ) that would have allowed Garden State police and firefighters to take control over their...

Health & Science - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Health In Texas And Arizona The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that states may not import drugs used for lethal injection. The agency said the drugs states like TEXAS and ARIZONA were seeking to bring in were unapproved and misbranded (TEXAS...

Partisan Divide On ‘Sanctuary’ Legislation | 04-28-2017

Legislation prohibiting or otherwise opposing local government adoption of policies restricting cooperation with federal immigration authorities has been introduced in at least 22 mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures this session. Three of...

VA Lawmakers Again Rebuff Gov On Medicaid Expansion | 04-07-2017

After President Donald Trump’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, fell flat in Congress last month Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said Republican lawmakers were out of excuses for not joining 31 other...

Governors in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

MORE GOVS NOW PONDERING MEDICAID EXPANSION : With the failure of the Congressional proposal to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a growing number of governors are expressing openness to expanding their states’ Medicaid programs...

Pretty in Pink | 03-10-2017

Hunters in Virginia have for years been required to wear a Day-Glo orange vest to make sure their fellow hunters can more easily discern them from Bambi before firing off a few rounds. But if Virginia state Sen. Richard Stuart has his way Old Dominion...

Politics in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

High Court Rejects VA Districts Over Race: On a 7-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to re-review 11 legislative districts drawn by VIRGINIA Republicans after the 2010 Census. The districts are among a dozen that Democrats argued...

Crime & Punishment - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Virginia Approves SB 1091 The VIRGINIA Assembly and Senate approve SB 1091 , which would abolish an Old Dominion law that mandates a person automatically lose their driver’s license for six months for a minor marijuana conviction. The measure...

Education - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Montana Approves HB 376 The MONTANA House approves HB 376 , which would authorize the creation of charter schools in the Treasure State. It is now in the Senate (MISSOULIAN, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). Virginia Signs HB 2432 VIRGINIA Gov. Terry McAuliffe...

Health & Science - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Health In Florida The 11 TH U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that a 2011 FLORIDA law limiting the ability of doctors to ask their patients about their gun ownership is unconstitutional. The court left intact a portion of the law that bars doctors...

Education - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Kentucky Approves SB 17 The KENTUCKY Senate approves SB 17 , which would codify the right for students to express religious viewpoints in school, including in their homework and clothing. It moves to the House (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER). Virginia...

Potpourri - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Virginia Approves HB 2201 The VIRGINIA Senate approves HB 2201 , which would impose a $250 fine on Old Dominion drivers who drive in the left lane when not passing another vehicle. The measure moves to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for consideration (RICHMOND...

Health & Science - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Health In West Virginia The WEST VIRGINIA Department of Health announces it will distribute more than 8,000 two-dose naloxone opioid antidote kits to new and existing opioid addiction treatment programs around the Mountain State. Naloxone is used to...

VA Lawmakers Look To Grab Regulatory Power From Gov | 02-10-2017

The Virginia Senate endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment last week ( SJR 295 ) that would allow lawmakers to veto regulations proposed by agencies under executive branch control with a simple majority vote. Supporters called the proposal necessary...

Governors In Brief - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

McAuliffe Vows Vetoes VIRGINIA Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said last week he would veto any measures sent to him by lawmakers that discriminate against the LGBTQ community or which seek to force so-called “sanctuary cities” to cooperate with...

Health & Science - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Virginia Approves SB 1298 The VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 1298 , which would add cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alz­heimer’s disease, nail-patella syndrome, cachexia or wasting...

Immigration - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Virginia Approves HB 1468 The VIRGINIA House approves HB 1468 , which would prohibit Old Dominion law enforcement from releasing an incarcerated undocumented immigrant until the individual has been received by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

Potpourri - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Virginia Approves SB 1400 The VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 1400 , which would classify poker as a game of skill rather than chance. The bill moves to the House (POKER NEWS DAILY). Virginia Approves HB 1432 Also in VIRGINIA , the House approves...

MN, VA Republicans Propose GOP-Friendly Electoral College Reforms | 02-03-2017

After Donald Trump clinched last year’s presidential race while losing the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 2.9 million votes , there was a clamor, mainly from Democrats, to do away with the Electoral College . But Republican lawmakers...