Two abortion clinics are seeking waivers to strict new building regulations, which require such clinics meet the same structural standards as full service hospitals. The State Board of Health is currently reviewing the regulations to determine whether a repeal or amendment are appropriate. The review was ordered by Governor McAuliffe, who has said he will be a brick wall against efforts to restrict women’s access to health care. Victoria Cobb, President of the Virginia Family Foundation supports the regulations.
A group of African American religious leaders has joined Republican Delegate Bob Marshall of Prince William County in his call on the General Assembly to explore impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Mark Herring. The ministers say that at a candidate forum at Chicago Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond on October 21st of last year, Herring said he would uphold Virginia’s Constitution and not make undermining the marriage amendment a priority.
Governor Terry McAuliffe says he’s intrigued by the compromise offered by Republican Senator Emmett Hanger, to the stalemate on the state budget and the issue of Medicaid expansion. Hanger has proposed decoupling Medicaid expansion from state budget negotiations in exchange for reforms to the legislative panel charged with the final say on the passage of any expansion plan.
Senator Mark Warner held a panel discussion with state and local officials at VDOT yesterday to discuss what went wrong in last month’s train derailment and fire in Lynchburg, and to more safely transport crude oil in the future.
Senator Warner says because the U.S. is producing more crude oil domestically and importing less from other countries, most cargo trains are transporting this oil at their maximum capacity.
Reactions are mixed to the new carbon emissions standards released by the EPA yesterday. In a written statement Congressman Eric Cantor called the new regulations an assault on working families that will increase home electricity bills and says the President owes an explanation to the 5,000 Virginians who work in the coal industry.
Kate Addelson with the Virginia Sierra Club says the regulations will be beneficial for the economy through the creation of new clean energy jobs.
Columnist Jeff Schapiro analyzes Virginia political news for 88.9 WCVE. This week, a way out of the state budget stalemate may have been found. A budget must be adopted by June 30.
Republican State Senator Emmett Hanger of Augusta sent a letter to House of Delegates Appropriations Chairman, Republican Chris Jones of Suffolk that could move the General Assembly closer to a deal on the state budget.
In the letter Hanger, a supporter of Medicaid expansion who chairs the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission or MIRC, proposes that the Senate decouple Medicaid expansion from the budget in exchange for reforming the MIRC so it can no longer block Medicaid expansion.
Virginia’s two Senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are joining a growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. Craig Carper reports. Senator Kaine says the latest revelations from Wednesday’s Inspector General’s report demonstrate the systemic nature of the problems at the VA. Senator Warner says while he believes General Shinseki has served with honor, there is no excuse for the current state of affairs for veterans seeking treatment.
At a campaign kickoff event at 804RVA in Richmond, Senator Mark Warner struck a confident tone about his chances for re-election in November, regardless of who the Republicans nominate to challenge him. Warner made his case yesterday to tech professionals and other supporters why Virginians should rehire him as Senator. The former Governor says whoever his Republican opponent is, their message will be predictable. The 4 Republican rivals hoping to succeed Warner, Ed Gillespie, Tony DeTora, Chuck Moss and Shak Hill will face off at the state party convention in Roanoke on June 7th.
Congressman Eric Cantor’s Republican primary challenger Dave Brat is asking him to reveal the names of all of the corporate executives, donors and lobbyists he and his staff have met with to discuss immigration reform. Brat says a recent mailer Cantor has circulated among his constituents which states his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants is false. Brat says guest worker programs that Cantor supports will take jobs away from struggling Virginia families.