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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.

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.

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