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Smart Growth Advocates and Archeologists Question Shockoe Stadium Timeline

Advocates for “smart growth” and local archaeological experts are expressing concerns with Mayor Jones' plan to relocate the Richmond Squirrels to a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom. The Partnership for Smarter Growth has sent a letter to the Jones administration asking them to restart the debate on Shockoe Stadium. They want to see greater transparency and public input on the project.

Marshall Introduces Inquiry for Herring Impeachment

Republican Delegate Bob Marshall of Prince William has introduced two resolutions of inquiry into the impeachment of Attorney General Mark Herring. Marshall says Herring had no authority to offer in state tuition to children of illegal immigrants with defferred action status and is thwarting the will of the people by arguing against Virginia’s same sex marriage ban and pushing to change the tax code to allow joint filing for same sex couples married in other states.

Council Approves School Budget with Additional $3.8 Million Requested by Board

The Richmond City Council has approved Mayor Jones’ $262 million public schools budget with the additional $3.8 million requested for operations by the School Board. Mayor Jones' budget also included $5 million for school maintenance. Council added an additional $2 million on top of that.

McAuliffe Signs More Mental Health Reforms

Yesterday Governor Terry McAuliffe ceremonially signed a comprehensive package of mental health reform bills at St. Joseph’s Villa in Richmond. Changes in Virginia’s mental health system that are now law include extending the time that an individual may be held under a temporary detention order to 72 hours, shortening the time that courts have to report involuntary commitment orders to state police and additional requirements for crisis intervention training for law enforcement and medical professionals.

Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces to See Funding Boost

During its reconvened session, the General Assembly approved a 5-dollar increase to the 10-dollar fee on all felony convictions that funds the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICACs.) The state’s two ICACs use a national database of illicit child pornography to track Virginians trading in this material to their IP addresses and later to their homes. In many instances, the images and films are self-produced and investigators use these leads to uncover cases of child rape.

McEachin to Speaker Howell: Where is Your Plan?

Democratic Senate Caucus Chairman Don McEachin of Henrico is asking Speaker of the House Bill Howell for an alternate healthcare plan to cover the 400,000 working Virginians without health insurance.  In a January Op Ed, Howell said Virginia should find alternatives to expanding the state’s Medicaid program to help those uninsured in the coverage gap. A spokesman for Howell says the House of Delegates remains adamant that any discussion of expanding Medicaid must be removed from the budget.

Ed Gillespie Addresses McShin Foundation Awards

Ed Gillespie, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was in Richmond yesterday to address the McShin Foundation, a group dedicated to helping veterans recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol, for their annual Awards Banquet. Gillespie says there is an epidemic of illicit drug use in America. Gillespie spoke of potential reforms of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and called for a renewed emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Though Gillespie said legalizing drug use would ignore the realities of addiction instead of acknowledging them.

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