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Morrissey Charges Dismissed

A Henrico County circuit court judge has dismissed all four felony indictments against former Delegate Joe Morrissey for providing falsified documents to the court. The judge said the new charges were barred by the Alford plea agreement Morrissey and his attorney’s reached with prosecutors in December.

Felony charges still stand for Deidre Warren, mother of Myrna Pride, the teenager Morrissey was accused of having a sexual relationship with.

Myrna’s father Coleman Pride was angry. He yelled at Morrissey and his daughter before a group of reporters outside.

VCU Contemplates Three Percent Tuition Hike

Virginia Commonwealth University is contemplating a 3% hike in tuition and fees next year.

The Board of Visitors yesterday (3/31) considered a $538 million dollar instructional budget and ways to pay for it.

Options would increase tuition and mandatory fees by either $344 or $374 dollars for in-state students.

The money would go to increased faculty compension and student financial aid, with deferred maintenance at the higher rate. Under the proposals in-state students would pay up to $12,772.

Preston Says He’s the Only Choice for Democrats in State Senate Race

Delegate Joseph Preston says he is the only true Democrat in his race against incumbent Rosalyn Dance in the primary for the 16th District Senate seat.

Preston says Dance consistently votes against the interests of the people who sent her to Richmond.

Preston says if elected he will push to appoint more African Americans and women to the bench, work to lower unemployment in the district and fight for the automatic restoration of rights to felons who have served their time.

Senator Dance did not respond to a request for comment.

Morrissey and Jones Fail to Qualify for 16th District Ballot

Incumbent Senator Rosalyn Dance and Delegate Joe Preston have both qualified for the 16th district Senate Democratic primary on June 9th.

Party officials say both Former Delegate Joe Morrissey and Richmond School Board Member Derik Jones did not qualify because they did not raise enough valid signatures.

Democratic Party of Virginia Spokesperson Morgan Finklestein says many of Morrissey’s signatures were from outside the 16th district.

Morrissey and Jones both have the opportunity to file as independents until the day of the primary.

Morrissey to Sue Democratic Party of Virginia

Former Delegate Joe Morrissey says he will file suit against the state Democratic Party’s nominating committee who voted to reject three quarters of his signatures to run for the 16th district Senate seat.

Morrissey called the nominating process flawed, saying that everyone on the nominating committee supported one of his opponents, incumbent Senator Rosalyn Dance.

750 of the 972 signatures Morrissey gathered were found invalid for various reasons. Virginia Democratic Party spokeswoman says many were collected from outside the district.

ACLU Blasts Governor For Trying To “Gut” Bills To Limit Surveillance

The ACLU has blasted Governor McCauliffe for trying to amend legislation dealing with police use of drones.

The ACLU sent the Governor a letter yesterday (3/30), accusing him of trying to gut bills that would restrict the use of drones by police and limit data collection by automatic license plates readers.

The General Assembly passed several measures aimed at reigning in the power of police to carry out surveillance on civilians.

Supreme Court Orders 2nd Look at Virginia’s 3rd District

The U.S. Supreme Court says the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia must again review the boundaries of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District following its decision last week that found racial gerrymandering in a similar case in Alabama.

The districts in Alabama were packed far more heavily with African Americans than in Virginia, but the high court’s directive suggests the same principals could apply.

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.


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