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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

Virginia’s Gasoline Tax to Increase to 18 Cents Per Gallon

With congressional action on the Marketplace Equity Act unlikely before the end of the year, Virginia’s gasoline tax will increase by seven cents per gallon on January 1st. Virginia’s billion-dollar transportation package passed in 2013 relies heavily on funds from the federal bill. The tax increase will automatically be enacted to cover the loss of those funds should Congress not act.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect and remit state sales tax just like all brick and mortar businesses.

Several Hundred Richmonders Protest Ferguson Decision

Several hundred Richmonders rallied outside of the John Marshall Courts Building and marched through downtown to protest the decision in Ferguson Missouri not to indict Officer Darren Wilson over the death of Michael Brown. They carried signs with eye-catching messages like “Police Are the Enemy” and “Black Lives Matter.” They used provocative speech but kept their protest peaceful.

Longtime Republican Senator Watkins Won’t Seek Re-election

Longtime Republican State Senator John Watkins of Powhatan is retiring after 34 years in the General Assembly, announcing he will not seek re-election in 2015. Watkins is one of a shrinking number of moderate Republicans in the Senate amid a growing group of younger more conservative members. He helped forge compromises to pass the first major transportation investment in two decades and to fully fund the Virginia retirement system. Senator Watkins says staying in the middle ground has gotten harder in recent years.

Hunger Organizations Ready For Thanksgiving, Encourage Volunteerism Every Day

Just days away from Thanksgiving, charitable organizations who fight hunger are enjoying their busiest time of the year, though they want Virginians to know that hunger is a year round problem. Josh Wachs, Chief Strategy Officer for Share Our Strength says the holidays can be particularly hard for families trying to feed their children.

McAuliffe Says Budget in “Perilous” Situation

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly likely will have to make further cuts to the state budget to offset declining tax collections. Where those cuts will be made remains to be seen.

Governor McAuliffe and the leaders of the House and Senate money committees met with the state’s top economic advisors yesterday (11/24). McAuliffe says automatic cuts brought on by sequestration -- if Congress does not come together to repeal them -- will further damage Virginia’s economy.

McAuliffe Establishes New Hunger Task Force

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order yesterday (11/20) to establish the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide which aims to end hunger in the state. Governor McAuliffe says Virginia leaves 20 million dollars in federal money on the table each year for school breakfast, lunch and summer feeding programs because many schools don’t take the time to apply.

Virginia Film Industry Has $382 Million Economic Impact

Filmmaking in Virginia had a $382 million economic impact on the commonwealth’s economy in 2013, 16% more than in the previous year, as the television and moviemaking industry in the state continues to grow.

Two of the most significant projects from last year were AMC’s revolutionary spy series “Turn” and the National Geographic movie “Killing Kennedy.” Feature-length films included the civil war drama The Field of Lost Shoes, filmed in Lexington and Richmond, and Big Stone Gap, filmed in Wise County.

Kaine and Warner on Opposite Ends of Pipeline Debate

Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, both Democrats, were divided yesterday on their support for building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Senator Tim Kaine opposed the authorization of the Keystone Pipeline. He says rising sea levels have a direct affect on Virginians specifically in Hampton Roads, by flooding roads, damaging homes and wrecking economic havoc on families and businesses.

Distillers Against Increased Liquor Prices

Distillers and liquor distributors have objections to the Virginia ABC’s decision yesterday to increase prices. The ABC says prices will increase by 24-29 cents for the average $15 bottle. Though Scott Harris, founder and General Manager of Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purceville, says the markup will disproportionately affect smaller manufacturers trying to establish a brand.

Catoctin is a Virginia based craft distillery with 20 employees. A bottle of their Roundstone Rye Whiskey costs more to manufacture. It sells for $45.