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McAuliffe Signs Budget With No Amendments or Line Item Vetoes

Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed the budget passed by the General Assembly last month with no amendments or line item vetoes.

At a press conference with the leaders of the House and Senate money committees, McAuliffe said the signing was historic.

It’s a stark contrast to last year when the General Assembly could not reach an agreement on a spending plan due to a bitter fight over weather to expand the state’s Medicaid program.  A budget was finally approved and signed in June.

Herring to Offer New Strategies to Combat Predatory Lending

Attorney General Mark Herring says he will offer new strategies to combat predatory lending practices by May 1st.

Herring says the policy may include community financial literacy courses, expanding access to affordable non-predatory low dollar loans as well as using his office to crack down on payday and car title lenders violating existing laws.

The AG says Virginia payday borrowers take out an average of 3 loans a year to stay afloat with a median interest rate of 289% and over 17,000 borrowers had their car repossessed by title lenders.

Governor Orders Retraining For ABC Agents

Governor McCauliffe is ordering retraining for ABC agents, following a high-profile arrest that left a UVA student bloodied and shouting allegations of racism. 

The Governor signed an executive order yesterday (3/25) requiring ABC agents to undergo retraining on the use of force, cultural diversity, community policing and interaction with youth.

Morrissey: Dance Betrayed Constituents

Delegate Joe Morrissey says Rosalyn Dance voted against her district's interests on Medicaid, GRTC funding and expanding the death penalty.

Morrissey says one of his opponents for the Senate seat, incumbent Rosalyn Dance voted for budgets that did not include Medicaid expansion or funding for the GRTC. He also says she’s voted twice to expand the death penalty.

He says he drew 6 times the number of supporters in his January special election than his other opponent Delegate Joe Preston did a week earlier.

Morrissey Announces Run For Senate, Vacates House Seat

Delegate Joe Morrissey formally announced his run for the 16th district state Senate seat on Wednesday and told reporters while he will vacate his house seat he’ll continue to serve his constituents in the 74th district until the election.

The state constitution says a Delegate’s House seat becomes vacant the moment they move out of the district. Morrissey says he will comply with the law but says at least 3 people have maintained their current office after relocating to run for another.

McAuliffe to Lead Trade Mission to Israel

Governor Terry McAuliffe will lead three and half day trade mission to Israel in October 2015.

Virginia currently trades with Israel in a variety of industries including agriculture, aquaculture, defense and homeland security. Over 60 Israeli companies maintain a presence in Virginia including the Sabra dipping company’s research science center employing over 500 people.

Also on the agenda is a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Morrissey Says Democrats Are Blocking His Run for Senate

Delegate Joe Morrissey says the Democratic Party is blocking him from filing 800 signatures to his petition to run for the 16th state Senate District. Morrissey was told he could not file the signatures by election officials in Petersburg and in Richmond.

Democratic Party of Virginia Spokeswoman Morgan Finkelstein says he did not pay the filing fee and was missing certain forms.

Morrissey says he followed the state code.

Morrissey will formally announce his candidacy for Senate in Church Hill this morning (3/25).

Mental Health Task Force Offers Recommendations

The Governor’s Taskforce on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response held its final meeting Monday (3/23), offering 25 recommendations for streamlining the system.

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a directive to create the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, an inter-agency collaborative to better coordinate resources for those with mental illness and assist those who pass through the criminal justice system.

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam chaired the taskforce.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s Presidential Announcement At Liberty University

Senator Ted Cruz is set to announce his candidacy for president at the world’s largest Christian University this morning (3/23).

Actually, the Texas Republican apparently couldn’t wait for morning and announced his candidacy on Twitter just after midnight, several hours before the official launch at the college this morning in Lynchburg.  

His choice of Liberty University indicates he plans an aggressive courtship of cultural conservatives and young voters.


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