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Virginia’s Backup Plans If Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare Subsidies

Governor Terry McAuliffe says the state has contingency plans if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state subsidies in the Affordable Care Act but has yet to say what those plans are.

The decision would affect millions of Americans in nearly two thirds of the states, like Virginia, who chose not to adopt a state based exchange. Nearly 300,000 Virginians are now receiving subsidies to participate in the federal exchange. Though they would lose their coverage should the court rule against those subsidies.

McAuliffe Calls for Removal of Confederate Flag from License Plates

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that he will ask Attorney General Mark Herring and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne to begin the process of removing the confederate battle flag from state issued license plates.

The debate in Virginia began in 1999. The state legislature passed a law that allowed members of the group, Sons of Confederate Veterans, to create a special license plate. The law attempted to prevent the battle flag from being part of the design, but a federal court ruled the emblem could be used.

McAuliffe Announces Additional Reforms to Rights Restoration Process

Yesterday (June 23) Governor Terry McAuliffe announced two key reforms to the rights restoration process for former felons who have served their time.

Governor McAuliffe will remove the requirement that individuals pay outstanding court costs before they can have their rights restored.

The state will also establish a process for those whose rights have been reinstated to have that fact designated on their criminal record.

McAuliffe says his administration has restored the rights of over 8,250 former felons to date, more than any other Governor.

McAuliffe Says European Trip Already Paying Dividends

Governor Terry McAuliffe says his 12-day trade mission to Europe has already proved fruitful and will continue to pay dividends in the coming months.

The Virginia trade contingent held over 70 meetings in 6 countries, netting some significant deals.

Lidl Foods, a discount grocery chain with over 10,000 stores in Europe will locate it’s U.S. Headquarters in Arlington and a production facility in Springfield totaling 700 new jobs. Elephant Insurance will bring 1,200 new jobs to the commonwealth.

Seven Apply for SCOVA Vacancy

Seven people including four judges, two lawyers and a law professor have sent applications to Governor Terry McAuliffe to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Virginia Supreme Court.

Typically Virginia Supreme Court Justices are elected by the General Assembly to a term of 12 years.

Justices appointed by the Governor when the legislature is out of session, serve on an interim basis until the General Assembly returns.

Northrup Grumman Lays Off 51 State Employees

Northrup Grumman has laid off 51 state employees it has managed under a $2.3 million dollar contract with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. 

Some of the 51 work at a Chester facility that Northrup Grumman built under a contract it signed with the state in 2006 to manage the government’s information system. 

A spokesperson for the agency says the layoffs were Grumman’s decision and prompted by its review of staffing levels and required skills. 

Prescription Drug and Heroin Task Force Sends Recommendations to McAuliffe

The Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse has sent a lengthy list of recommendations to fight the growing problem to Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The group included dozens of recommendations on treatment, enforcement, education, prescription data and monitoring, and safe storage and disposal of drugs.

Governor McAuliffe is expected to give feedback and help the taskforce target the recommendations into legislative priorities ahead of next year’s General Assembly session.

Hospitals Seek Expansion Of State Medicaid Program

The leaders of several major Virginia hospitals are pleading with the General Assembly to expand the state’s Medicaid program using 2 billion dollars a year in federal funding from the Affordable Care Act.

At a health care forum hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, John Fitzgerald the CEO INOVA Fairoaks Hospital gave his message to the legislature.

Nancy Howell Agee, President and CEO of the Carillion Clinic in Roanoke says she’s concerned that health outcomes are declining in parts of Virginia.

Kaine Amends Disclosure Form To Reflect Luxury Seaside Stay

US Senator Tim Kaine did not initially report a three-day stay at a seaside luxury resort in Southern Spain as required by Senate rules.

The $1,400 trip, including lodging for Kaine and his wife, was paid for by a non-profit with close ties to a lobbying firm, which would have required him to report it.

The non-profit was the US-Spain Council, which shares an address, phone number and staff with a federal lobbying firm.

Senate rules generally prohibit lobbyists from paying for foreign travel, but watchdogs say the rules have giant loopholes.


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