RTD columnist and WCVE analyst Jeff Schapiro discusses the twists and turns of Del. Joe Morrisey legal troubles, other ethics developments and Gov. McAuliffe's budget proposals.
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced yesterday that his administration has restored civil and voting rights to over 5,113 ex offenders, more than any other Governor in a single year.
Virginia is one of the toughest states for rights restoration in the country but Governor McAuliffe has streamlined the process, shortening the application from 13 pages to one.
Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico will resign from the House of Delegates but will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat in a special election on January 13th, a day before the General Assembly session.
Morrissey was charged with inappropriate sexual relations with a minor but entered a plea deal Dec. 12 to one misdemeanor count of contributing to delinquency of a minor and was senteced to serve six months in jail with work release privileges.
Republican Speaker of the House Bill Howell called Morrissey’s announcement “deceitful, selfish and disrespectful.”
Governor McAuliffe says he has not received any big-ticket gifts since taking office this year, a departure from what was commonplace under past administrations. The Governor instituted a self-imposed $100 gift limit shortly after taking office, saying it was part of an effort to clean up Virginia’s reputation.
He recently filed a statement of economic interest, which confirmed that he received mostly trinkets related to trade missions.
Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to cap certain tax preferences and credits and raise various fees in order to close the state’s most recent $322 million dollar budget gap.
The Governor’s budget includes no cuts to k-12 public schools and increases wages for those at the bottom of the state pay scale, particularly Sherriff’s deputies, many of whom currently qualify for food stamps.
This morning (12/17) as Governor McAuliffe announces cuts to state programs and caps on certain tax preferences when he announces his biannual budget amendments.
He’ll also call for new investments in other priority areas. Among these investments Governor McAuliffe includes over $500,000 to support First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe’s hunger initiative, increasing subsidies for Virginia’s school breakfast program, largely through federal funds, by 5¢ per meal to encourage greater participation.
Governor McAuliffe is pushing for new regulations on gun ownership. The Governor presented a package of gun control measures yesterday (102/15) he said were necessary to keep Virginians safe. Among the legislation he says he will pursue during the 2015 session, is a bill that would limit handgun purchases to one a month.
Another would prohibit people subject to protective orders from possessing firearms.
Delegate Joe Morrisey says he will decide this week whether to remain in the General Assembly, and a recall petition drive fizzles. A potential challenger decided yesterday that a petition drive to recall Morrisey would not have enough legal basis. But, Kevin Sullivan, a Charles City Democrat, still plans to challenge Morrisey in the June primary if he doesn’t step down. Morrisey has said he will decid
Henrico Delegate Joe Morrisey says he will wait to decide his political future following his recent plea in a teen sex case. Both Morrisey and some members of the alleged victim’s family attended former Richmond Mayor Leonidas Young’s Fourth Baptist Church yesterday, but sat on opposites sides and didn’t acknowledge each other.
Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro analyzes competing ethics reform bills; the Governor's budget message next week; McCauliffe to head NGA; and Kaine spearheading Senate action on Presidential war powers.