Federal Judge James Spencer has rejected requests from former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen for new trials on their public corruption charges.
The Virginia Tobacco Commission gave away millions of dollars, more than what commission staff recommended, to help a politically connected power company. The Associated Press says commission staffers told the state inspector-general that the first of three $10 million installments paid to Dominion to help build a natural gas pipeline in Brunswick County should have been $6.5 million based on their calculations, and that they felt pressured by Governor Bob McDonnell’s office, though the inspector-general’s office did not find evidence to support that.
State Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw says he will introduce a bill in the upcoming General Assembly session that would require university officials with knowledge of a sexual assault on campus to report the incident to local police within 24 hours. Under Saslaw’s bill, campus officials and faculty who fail to report incidents of sexual assault would face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Saslaw says universities like UVA have no business adjudicating felonies.
With congressional action on the Marketplace Equity Act unlikely before the end of the year, Virginia’s gasoline tax will increase by seven cents per gallon on January 1st. Virginia’s billion-dollar transportation package passed in 2013 relies heavily on funds from the federal bill. The tax increase will automatically be enacted to cover the loss of those funds should Congress not act.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect and remit state sales tax just like all brick and mortar businesses.
Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch analyzes the week's Virginia political news.