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SCOTUS Redistricting Decision Energizes Reform Advocates

Advocates for redistricting reform say the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that states may redistrict by using an independent commission, should put pressure on Virginia to adopt such a process.

The elections clause in the U.S. Constitution gives states the authority to redistrict. Most state constitutions, including Virginia's, give that power to the legislature, but some grant that responsibility to independent groups.

SCOTUS Ruling on Lethal Injection Drug May Affect Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow the use of the controversial drug, Midazolam for lethal injections, will affect execution policy in Virginia.

The drug is approved for use in 8 states, including Virginia, as part of a three drug cocktail to execute death row inmates.

Critics say Midazolam does not induce a deep enough coma to ensure inmates experience no pain.

Midazolam has not yet been used in the commonwealth and there are currently no executions pending.

Mixed Reactions in Virginia to Supreme Court EPA Ruling

There were mixed reactions in Virginia to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that the EPA did not properly consider costs of implementing new mercury and air toxin standards for coal and oil fired power plants.

Benjamin Knotts, Deputy State Director of the Virginia chapter of the conservative tax policy group Americans for Prosperity says the EPA regulations factored into the closure of the Glen Lyn power plant and could have forced others to shut down.

Clinton Says it’s Past Time for Virginia to Expand Medicaid

Addressing Virginia Democrats annual fundraiser at the Patriot Center at George Mason University Friday evening (6/26), Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton said it is past time for the Commonwealth to expand its Medicaid program.

Clinton says expanding the safety net program would provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who need it and could potentially save about $100 million dollars in the state budget.

Clinton Tells Virginia Dems GOP Has No New Ideas for Economic Prosperity

Addressing Virginia Democrats annual fundraiser at the Patriot Center at George Mason University Friday evening, Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton said the GOP has no new ideas for bringing the economic recovery to all Americans.

Clinton says while Republicans believe they are the party of new ideas and fresh faces, on economic strategy, the GOP is looking backward and not forward.

Virginia GOP Will Choose Presidential Nominee By Primary, Governor By Convention

Virginia Republicans will select their Presidential nominee by primary on Super Tuesday, March 1st 2016, but will choose their candidate for Governor by a convention in 2017.

The Virginia GOP’s state central committee approved the presidential primary on a 42-39 vote at a meeting in Staunton Saturday (6/27).

Conservative candidates typically fair better in a nominating convention while establishment Republicans are preferred in primaries.

Virginia Officials React to SCOTUS Health Decision

Virginia officials had mixed reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling, upholding government subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Terry McAuliffe praised the decision saying it will preserve health coverage for nearly 300,000 Virginians.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring agreed. In January he wrote and filed an amicus brief in support of the Affordable Care Act subsidies, 21 other states and D.C. signed on.

Virginia’s Backup Plans If Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare Subsidies

Governor Terry McAuliffe says the state has contingency plans if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state subsidies in the Affordable Care Act but has yet to say what those plans are.

The decision would affect millions of Americans in nearly two thirds of the states, like Virginia, who chose not to adopt a state based exchange. Nearly 300,000 Virginians are now receiving subsidies to participate in the federal exchange. Though they would lose their coverage should the court rule against those subsidies.

McAuliffe Calls for Removal of Confederate Flag from License Plates

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that he will ask Attorney General Mark Herring and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne to begin the process of removing the confederate battle flag from state issued license plates.

The debate in Virginia began in 1999. The state legislature passed a law that allowed members of the group, Sons of Confederate Veterans, to create a special license plate. The law attempted to prevent the battle flag from being part of the design, but a federal court ruled the emblem could be used.

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