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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

McAuliffe Signs Budget With No Amendments or Line Item Vetoes

Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed the budget passed by the General Assembly last month with no amendments or line item vetoes.

At a press conference with the leaders of the House and Senate money committees, McAuliffe said the signing was historic.

It’s a stark contrast to last year when the General Assembly could not reach an agreement on a spending plan due to a bitter fight over weather to expand the state’s Medicaid program.  A budget was finally approved and signed in June.

Herring to Offer New Strategies to Combat Predatory Lending

Attorney General Mark Herring says he will offer new strategies to combat predatory lending practices by May 1st.

Herring says the policy may include community financial literacy courses, expanding access to affordable non-predatory low dollar loans as well as using his office to crack down on payday and car title lenders violating existing laws.

The AG says Virginia payday borrowers take out an average of 3 loans a year to stay afloat with a median interest rate of 289% and over 17,000 borrowers had their car repossessed by title lenders.

Morrissey: Dance Betrayed Constituents

Delegate Joe Morrissey says Rosalyn Dance voted against her district's interests on Medicaid, GRTC funding and expanding the death penalty.

Morrissey says one of his opponents for the Senate seat, incumbent Rosalyn Dance voted for budgets that did not include Medicaid expansion or funding for the GRTC. He also says she’s voted twice to expand the death penalty.

He says he drew 6 times the number of supporters in his January special election than his other opponent Delegate Joe Preston did a week earlier.

Morrissey Announces Run For Senate, Vacates House Seat

Delegate Joe Morrissey formally announced his run for the 16th district state Senate seat on Wednesday and told reporters while he will vacate his house seat he’ll continue to serve his constituents in the 74th district until the election.

The state constitution says a Delegate’s House seat becomes vacant the moment they move out of the district. Morrissey says he will comply with the law but says at least 3 people have maintained their current office after relocating to run for another.

McAuliffe Orders ABC Reforms After Johnson Arrest

Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order to reform the law enforcement division of the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control following the violent arrest of Martise Johnson outside a Charlottesville bar.

The Governor will require more training for agents, including the retraining of all 130 existing special agents. The focus will be on the use of force, cultural diversity and interacting with young people. The Governor want’s written guidelines spelling out the role of the ABC in relation to local law enforcement and campus police.

Waiver Program Will Exempt 5 Schools From State Standards

The Standards of Learning Innovation Committee met Tuesday (3/24) to discuss various reforms that the state could implement to change how students and schools are evaluated.

Five school districts can apply for waivers from state standards and a $50,000 planning grant as part of a pilot program to develop new criteria for evaluating students.

This session, just a year after the General Assembly passed legislation implementing an A-F grading system for schools, they repealed it, calling it too simplistic.

McAuliffe to Lead Trade Mission to Israel

Governor Terry McAuliffe will lead three and half day trade mission to Israel in October 2015.

Virginia currently trades with Israel in a variety of industries including agriculture, aquaculture, defense and homeland security. Over 60 Israeli companies maintain a presence in Virginia including the Sabra dipping company’s research science center employing over 500 people.

Also on the agenda is a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Morrissey Says Democrats Are Blocking His Run for Senate

Delegate Joe Morrissey says the Democratic Party is blocking him from filing 800 signatures to his petition to run for the 16th state Senate District. Morrissey was told he could not file the signatures by election officials in Petersburg and in Richmond.

Democratic Party of Virginia Spokeswoman Morgan Finkelstein says he did not pay the filing fee and was missing certain forms.

Morrissey says he followed the state code.

Morrissey will formally announce his candidacy for Senate in Church Hill this morning (3/25).

Mental Health Task Force Offers Recommendations

The Governor’s Taskforce on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response held its final meeting Monday (3/23), offering 25 recommendations for streamlining the system.

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a directive to create the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, an inter-agency collaborative to better coordinate resources for those with mental illness and assist those who pass through the criminal justice system.

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam chaired the taskforce.

Police Find No Evidence that Alleged UVA Gang Rape Occurred

The 4-month investigation by the Charlottesville Police department into the alleged gang rape at UVA described in the now largely discredited Rolling Stone article has produced no evidence that the incident occurred.

Police found no evidence of a party at Phi Kappa Si on September 282012, where “Jackie” was quoted by the Rolling Stone writer that the rape had occurred.

Jackie did not provide police a statement, and her lawyer refused to let police access university records related to her case.