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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

Virginia Crime Commission Tracks DNA Testing and Retesting Effort

The Virginia Crime Commission is trying to prioritize cases that may be revisited where defendants were convicted before the advent of DNA testing for biological evidence, or in its earliest iterations.

Modern DNA tests have greater accuracy than those used when the technology was introduced in 1985 and has the potential to overturn the convictions of some felons.

Virginia Crime Commission Examines Child Pornography Law’s Language

The Virginia Crime Commission is considering changes to the state code that could cast a wider net when targeting those who possess and distribute child pornography. Currently the code says that distributors of child pornography must do so with lascivious intent.

Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia says she’s happy to see the Commission considering adding the word knowingly to the state’s reproduction and distribution code.

Howell Asks Holder for Guidance on McAuliffe Appointments

Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Bill Howell is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat, to issue a ruling on whether Governor Terry McAuliffe’s appointment of 3 state legislators to state position is legal. Howell believes the appointments are legal, but says the ongoing investigation into the resignation of former Democratic State Senator Phillip Puckett raises concerns that should the House confirm the appointments they could be facilitating the violation of federal law.

McAuliffe Wants All Richmond, Petersburg, Norfolk Schools Accredited in 3 Years

Speaking yesterday at Peabody Middle School in Petersburg, Governor Terry McAuliffe set an ambitious goal for all schools in Richmond, Petersburg and Norfolk to reach full accreditation by the end of his term in three years. Governor McAuliffe believes the goal is achievable by implementing the best practices of accredited schools with high poverty rates.

In addition, McAuliffe wants to further streamline the SOLs, pursue federal grants to expand access to Pre-K programs and offer incentives to keep teachers in hard to staff schools in their jobs.

Former Long Serving Republican Delegate Vince Callahan Dies

Former Republican State Delegate Vince Callahan of McClean, who served for 40 years in the General Assembly, passed away Saturday at age 82 of West Nile Virus. At the time of his retirement Callahan was the longest serving Republican in the General Assembly.

In 2007 when he chose not to seek re-election, he had served as House Appropriations Chairman for nearly 10 years.

House Rejects GOP Authored Medicaid Expansion Alternative Plan

Last night on a 64 to 33 vote, the House of Delegates rejected a private insurance based Medicaid expansion alternative proposal from a northern Virginia Republican. The plan from Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax would return $1.9 billion that Virginians are already paying under the Affordable Care Act to the Commonwealth, to expand coverage through employer based insurance, managed care organizations and qualified health plans and would also remake the existing Virginia Medicaid program.

House Authorizes Speaker to Hire Outside Counsel in Same Sex Marriage Case

The House of Delegates has voted to give the Speaker of the House the power to hire outside counsel to defend the state’s ban on same sex marriage or any other state law. Attorney General Mark Herring declined to defend the same sex marriage ban earlier this year and has since actively worked against it. The resolution represents the position of the House and does not need the approval of the Senate or Governor.

Advocates Urge Legislators to Vote Their Conscience on Medicaid

Advocates for Medicaid expansion say real people will be affected by the decisions the Virginia legislature makes during its two-day special session, beginning today (September 18) at noon.

Ray Scher, a member of Virginia Organizing, wants legislators to vote their conscience when the consider expanding the state’s Medicaid program. Scher says Medicaid expansion is a social ethical issue, not a political or special interest group issue.

Rust Explains His Medicaid Expansion Alternative Plan

The plan from Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax returns $1.9 billion that Virginians are already paying under the Affordable Care Act to the Commonwealth, to expand coverage through employer based insurance, managed care organizations and qualified health plans on the federal exchange to create a bridge program.

The Rust plan also provides financial assistance to those who earn between 133% and 150% of the federal poverty rate to encourage them to buy coverage. His bill would then substantially remake the existing Virginia Medicaid program.