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Moran Calls Body Cameras Inevitable

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran says statewide implementation of police body cameras is inevitable.

41% of Virginia law enforcement agencies are already using body cameras in some capacity. Moran expects to recommend a framework for statewide implementation later this summer. He adds some logistical problems remain.

Identifying a funding mechanism will be an issue in some localities. Henrico spent over $150,000 to equip two thirds of its officers. Moran says he believes the state will set aside money to assist localities who can’t afford the cameras.

Kaine Renews Call for Congressional Authorization of Military Action

Senator Tim Kaine marked the 9-month anniversary of America’s military intervention against ISIL (ISIS) by calling on Congress to debate and vote to authorize and set the terms of the mission.

President Obama has maintained that the authorization voted by Congress in 2001 and 2002 gives him the power to take military action against ISIL without further congressional approval. Kaine says that authorization only applied to the groups that perpetrated the attacks of 911. ISIL was formed 2 years later.

Richmond Voting Machines Recycled

The City of Richmond has reached a unique solution for replacing the recently decertified WinVote touchscreen machines. They’ve recycled them.

Technicians at the Richmond Registrar’s office removed the touch screen units from the booths and adapted them for use with paper ballots, which voters will use in the June primary and the general election in November. They’ll also use 65 older booths the city has owned for 50 years.

Kirk Showalter, Richmond General Registrar, estimates the conversion saved the city $70,000.

Sweet Briar Stakeholders Meet at Attorney General’s Office

Attorneys for Sweet Briar College, Amhearst County and the coalition trying to save the school met privately for three hours yesterday (5/6) at the state Attorney General’s office to try to resolve the question of the school’s future.

The school announced in March 2015 that it would close its doors after a unanimous vote by the board, which cited insurmountable financial problems.

The group known as Save Sweet Briar previously had filed an injunction, which was later granted, to stop the school from spending money to shut itself down.

Hanover Legislator’s Controversial Facebook Posting

A Hanover County legislator’s posting of a snarling police dog has caused a Facebook backlash that has resulted in his apologizing and taking it down.

Not long after the Baltimore unrest broke out, Hanover County Republican Delegate “Buddy” Fowler posted a photo of a snarling police dog, restrained by a handler in SWAT gear, with a caption that read, “Go ahead and run...he likes fast food.”

Fowler went on to suggest, “I wonder if a few of these would help bring calm to Baltimore.”

Virginia’s AG Says Board of Health Has No Power To Order Retrofit For Abortion Clinics

Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring says the State Board of health does not have the power to force abortion clinics to retrofit to meet higher standards. 

It’s an opinion, a legal one, issued yesterday (5/4) to the state health commissioner.

Those higher standards would treat abortion clinics as hospitals and cover issues such as hallway widths and closet sizes.

ABC Department Mission Under Review

Following two high profile incidents of botched arrests by ABC agents in Charlottesville, state officials held their first meeting to review how the agency enforces the law and what role it should play in the future.

Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, who chairs the review panel, says it will take a hard look at the law enforcement mission and structure of the ABC Department and try to change its culture.

Now 70% of the agency's law enforcement duties are regulatory, while 30% involve public safety issues including underage drinking and drunk driving.

Herring Says State Board Can’t Impose Strict Building Regs on Existing Abortion Clinics

Attorney General Mark Herring says the state Board of Health does not have the authority to enforce strict design and construction regulations on clinics that provide abortions, built before the new rules took effect. The rules require abortion providers in older facilities to meet the same building standards as hospitals.

Cianti Stewart Reid, Executive Director Planned Parent Advocates of Virginia, says three clinics in Virginia have already closed as a result of the regulations.

All 18 of Virginia’s existing clinics precede the regulations.

Governor May Veto Drone Bills

Governor Terry McAuliffe may announce today whether he will veto several bills, including controversial legislation governing surveillance technology.

McAuliffe says bills restricting the use of license plate readers and drones for collecting evidence for law enforcement were rushed through the legislature.

Law enforcement agencies have said the use of such technology is critical to stopping criminals, while civil liberties groups say it invades law abiding citizen’s privacy.

Jeff Schapiro: Herring Wants Sweet Briar Mediation; McAuliffe May be Softening Pipeline Stand; Howell-Stimson; Clinton Takes Webb Idea

Columnist Jeff Schapiro analyzes Virginia political news, including a proposal to mediate Sweet Briar College’s disputed closing, the governor’s position on a controversial pipeline, and Hillary Clinton adopting an issue from Jim Webb.


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