A divided Supreme Court has ruled in a Virginia case that the federal ban on “straw gun purchases” can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun. Bruce James Abramski, Jr. bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville in 2009 and transferred it to his Uncle who lives in Pennsylvania.
Articles by Charles Fishburne
Virginia House Republicans have introduced legislation that would allow them to hire lawyers to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court. Attorney General Mark Herring won’t do it, so House Republicans have simply decided to go over his head and send someone else.
Virginia is revamping its Alzheimer’s initiative website to provide more information to patients, physicians and caregivers. The improved website will be launched this summer and will include an Alzheimers database with information on everything from care giving to cognitive impairment. It will also give primary-care physicians access to lists of Alzheimer's specialists and clinics that can do memory assessments.
The University of Virginia says it will end its academic sponsorship of the Semester at Sea Program by 2016. In 2012, a UVA student died in a boating accident during the shipboard study, and the university says UVA and The Semester At Sea Program have mutually agreed to end the sponsorship. UVA has provided an academic dean and registrar for the three annual voyages.
Two years ago, a student died during a visit to the island of Dominica in a recreational boat accident. UVA says that trip was organized independently of Semester at Sea. UVA has been an academic sponsor since 2006.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declined to speculate on why he lost the primnary election June 10 and conceded that his views on immigration, “can make a lot of people mad.” On a national TV program, the ousted Republican Congressman told CNN, “I really don’t think that there is any one reason for the outcome of the election, there are just a lot of things that go through voters’ minds when they go through the voting booth.” He conceded his views on immigration angered some members of both parties.
Virginia’s revenue collections declined nearly 21% in May, making it the biggest one-month decline in 13 years. Collections were down in individual non-witholding income taxes, corporate incomes tax, and the taxes on wills, suits, deed and contracts. And, Governor McAuliffe said that like many other states that have income taxes, Virginia is now seeing declining revenues from capital gains. As for other sources of revenue, officials say collections of payroll withholding taxes fell 5.4% in May and sales and use taxes were off 1.6%.
The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a new state budget without Medicaid expansion, a major step towards ending a months-long stalemate. Averting a possible government shutdown with less than three weeks to spare, the General Assembly passed an austere, two-year budget late last night after hours of behind-the-scenes wrangling over Medicaid expansion.
The White House’s signature Africa initiative comes to fruition this week when 500 of the continent’s most promising young leaders begin a new, six-week leadership, academic and mentoring program that is the hallmark of the Young African Leaders Initiative. Twenty five will be in Virginia, where American democracy began.
Governor McCauliffe has kicked off the first meeting of the Virginia Cyber Security Commission yesterday at George Mason University. The group is charged with providing recommendations on how to make Virginia a leader in cyber security.
A study published earlier this week indicates hackers are costing consumers and customers as much as $575 billion dollars annually, and online crime is estimated at .8% worldwide.
A Norfolk judge has ruled that a law allowing the state to take over chronically failing public schools is unconstitutional. Circuit Judge Charles Poston ruled yesterday in favor of the Virginia School Board Association and the Norfolk School board which filed the lawsuit challenging creation of the Opportunity Educational Institution.
The state-run institution was slated to take control of six schools that were denied state accreditation in Norfolk, Alexandria and Petersburg. The law was a key component of former Governor Bob McDonnell’s education reform agenda.