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Politics

Tobacco Commission Awards Millions More Than Staff Recommends To Dominion

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.

Saslaw to Introduce Bill to Require Universities to Report Rapes to Police

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.

Virginia’s Gasoline Tax to Increase to 18 Cents Per Gallon

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.

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