With one week until Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke to hundreds of voters yesterday evening for a Town Hall forum at VCU’s medical campus. Governor Kasich made his appeal to both establishment voters and those frustrated with the process noting while he’s got decades of experience within the system he’s maintained his independence throughout that career. Kasich took questions from the audience on immigration, social security, student debt, mental health and world affairs.
Craig Carper is the News Director for 88.9 WCVE Public Radio. Craig studied journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University and has worked in broadcast news since 2001. He’s worked in various capacities covering Virginia politics for WCVE PBS since 2006. For six years starting in 2009 he served as the political reporter for 88.9 WCVE before being promoted to News Director in July of 2015.
Craig served as the host of Capitol Events during the General Assembly Session on WCVE PBS, a daily one-minute update on legislative issues.
In 2012 he conducted an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama. In 2015 he interviewed former President Jimmy Carter.
Craig has contributed over 100 nationally run news stories to NPR and has been featured on the PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
He’s covered 3 Governors, the 2009 and 2013 gubernatorial campaigns, the 2012 and 2014 U.S. Senate races, the 2012 Presidential campaign and in 2014 he provided daily national coverage of the trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell for NPR.
Articles by Craig Carper
The House and Senate will unveil their budgets on Sunday (2/21). Though senior negotiators say we’ve had several years of surplus revenues, they’re still working to undo the damage done by the great recession.
The House of Delegates hopes to begin fully funding the state’s retirement system this year, as well as accelerating a $189 million dollar plus interest repayment to the pension plan.
They’ll also put potential surplus dollars toward outstanding bonds for construction projects across the Commonwealth.
The House and Senate have passed bills that allow limited residential lodging service websites such as Airbnb and FlipKey to do business in Virginia, though localities and the hotel industry have concerns.
The bill’s house patron, Republican Delegate Chris Peace of Hanover says the sites will create jobs, grow Virginia’s travel industry, allow homeowners to earn income, and create millions of dollars in new revenue for cash strapped local governments.
The Senate narrowly passed a bill 20-19 that would create a limited regulatory structure for websites like Airbnb that rent homes or rooms like hotels, though the hospitality industry says it doesn’t enforce tax collection.
The legislation would prevent localities from banning the use of Airbnb and would allow homeowners to pay taxes for their rentals but would not require them to do so. Republican Senator Jill Vogel of Faquier is the bill’s patron.
The state Senate has defeated a bill that would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would make it easier to open charter schools.
Most of the GOP voted in favor of the bill, which they say gives students enrolled in failing schools more learning options.
Though 2 Republicans voted with the Democrats, many of whom have long complained that charters drain funds from traditional k-12 schools.
Democratic Senator Mamie Locke of Hampton says other options are available.
The House of Delegates passed two bills today (2/15) that would make significant changes to the state system for approving health care construction projects.
Hospitals say Certificate of Public Need Program or COPN gives them the ability to provide access to critical healthcare services to low income patients that otherwise would not be profitable.
Republicans say the program gives hospitals a monopoly to provide other more profitable services, prohibiting outpatient care centers from offering the same services.
A bill that would establish a pilot program to determine the appropriate balance between food and liquor sales at restaurants has passed the Senate.
Virginia has long resisted allowing traditional bars to operate in the Commonwealth, requiring that no more than 45% of a restaurants’ sales come from hard liquor.
The pilot program in the proposed bill would allow restaurant owners to meet that percentage based on the wholesale cost instead of the price charged to the consumer.
Republican Senator Frank Wagner spoke in favor of the bill.
On Wednesday (2/10) Republican Delegate Jackson Miller of Manassas spent over 15 minutes describing in graphic detail the violent murders of the Harvey and Tucker families while making the case for his bill to expand the use of the electric chair in Virginia.
Ricky Gray is scheduled to be put to death on March 16th for the 2006 murders, but the Commonwealth currently doesn’t have the drugs to perform the execution. Delegate Miller’s bill would make the electric chair the default method of execution if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.
The fight over Governor McAuliffe’s appointment of Virginia Supreme Court Justice Jane Marum Roush continued yesterday as one Democratic Senator changed her position twice.
Democratic Senator Louise Lucas of Portsmouth voted at a hastily convened committee meeting for the Republican’s pick for Virginia’s high court, Rossie Alston Jr. This came after Lucas was promised that her mentor former Delegate Kenneth Melvin would be elevated to the court of appeals.
Though after a meeting with Governor Terry McAuliffe, she said she would again support Justice Roush.
After Virginia’s 4th Congressional District was significantly redrawn by a federal three judge panel, Congressman Randy Forbes announced Monday (2/8) via a press conference broadcast on Facebook that he will relocate to the 2nd District.
Forbes says he’s best situated to defend Virginia’s military interest as chair of the subcommittee that writes the budget of the Navy, the Marine Corp and a large portion of the Air Force.
Were he to lose his seat he says his chairmanship could go to a congressman from another state who would not have Virginia’s best interest at heart.