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McAuliffe Previews State of the Commonwealth Speech

Tonight (1/13) at the midpoint of his term, Governor Terry McAuliffe will deliver his annual State of the Commonwealth address.

He will ask the General Assembly to support his two-year legacy budget, which includes a billion dollars in new investment for education.

While the Governor has fought hard in previous years with the Republican controlled legislature over Medicaid expansion and gun control, he warned them not to get bogged down in petty partisan battles.

Lawmakers Return To Richmond for 2016 General Assembly Session

Lawmakers are returning to Richmond today (1/13) to kick off their 2016 legislative session.

Tonight they will hear Governor Terry McAuliffe’s State of the Commonwealth address. The Democratic Governor is entering his third year in office and will be seeking support for his $109 billion dollar proposed budget that includes a billion-dollar increase in education spending, small corporate and individual tax cuts and a two-percent raise for state employees.

Three Richmond Pastors File Suit to Block GOP “Affiliation” Oath on Ballot

Three Richmond-area black pastors have filed a lawsuit to try to stop the requirement that voters in the March 1st GOP primary sign a statement saying they are Republicans.

Virginians don’t register by party and anyone can vote in a primary, but this year the Republican Party of Virginia asked the State Board of Elections to use an “affiliation statement,” and the board approved it.

The lawsuit asks a judge to declare it unconstitutional and to stop the Board from enforcing it.

Henrico Sheriff Mike Wade To Challenge Dave Bratt in 7th District

Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade says he is running for Congress in the 7th District. Longtime Sheriff Mike Wade is expected to challenge freshman Congressman Dave Brat for the Republican nomination to represent the 7th district.

He says “we need action, not rhetoric.”

Brat says he welcomes a debate.

The 7th District Republican Committee meets Saturday (1/9) to decide whether to nominate its candidate for the seat through a convention or a primary.

Wade is expected to make a formal announcement this week.

Court-Ordered Redistricting Plan in Federal Court Hearing Today

A court-ordered change in congressional boundaries is headed for federal court in Richmond today (12/14). At issue is whether the federal court, which has already ruled that the current boundaries pack too many black voters in the 3rd Congressional District, should go ahead and lock new boundaries into place, or wait possibly months for the United States Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the state’s Republican members of Congress.

Virginia Isn't Competitve Tax-Wise, Governor Says

We’re learning more about what the Governor’s biennial budget will entail. Today (12/3) he told a room full of journalists that tax-wise, Virginia isn’t in a competitive position.

Speaking at an Associated Press Day event, Governor Terry McAulife said that measure along with a few other tax reforms will help Virginia become more competitive at attracting businesses.

He’s also proposing to modify the existing research and development tax credit. House Republicans say they’re waiting until the full budget is released to weigh in.

State Senator Favola Seeking Support For Gun Control Bill

State officials are working on bills ahead of the 2016 General Assembly session. State Senator Barbara Favola is trying to gain traction for a gun control measure.

Favola says she is planning to re-introduce a similar bill in the upcoming General Assembly.

Last winter, Senator Favola patroned SB 943 which would’ve temporarily restricted certain convicts’ access to guns.

It died in the Senate Finance Committee.

Syrian Refugees Not Currently Scheduled To Settle In Virginia

Right now, there are no Syrian Refugees scheduled to resettle into Virginia. That’s according to the Commonwealth's Safety and Security Secretary Brian Moran, and he says he doesn’t know when that number might change.

U.S. President Barack Obama has planned to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

Governor McAuliffe Says Virginia Will Not Close Its Doors To Syrian Refugees

Governor McAuliffe says Virginia will not close its doors to Syrian refugees, even though some Republican Governors have threatened to do so, following last week’s deadly attacks in Paris.

A spokesman for the Governor said his public safety team is in communications with federal authorities about refugee resettlements, including relocations involving Syrians, and that every refugee settled in the United States undergoes intensive security screening.

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