Join us on         

Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

208,000 Virginians Sign Up for Federal Health Exchange

Governor McAuliffe has announced that over 208,000 Virginians have signed up for the federal marketplace during the most recent open enrollment period, exceeding his goal of 160,000 people.

Now a total of 385,000 Virginians have signed up for the federal exchange. This comes just as the fee kicks in for those who choose not to purchase insurance. The uninsured will have to pay $95  or 1% of their income, whichever is greater, when they file their 2014 tax return.

McAuliffe Announces Trade Mission to Cuba

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced an upcoming trade mission to Cuba. He’s hoping to expand agricultural business but also to lay the groundwork for trade in other sectors once U.S. Cuban relations normalize.

While the U.S. embargo on Cuba remains in effect for now, exceptions to the trade ban for agricultural and medical products have been in place for the past decade.

Since then Cuba has been purchasing Virginia soybeans, apples, poultry and pork. But recently those sales are down.

Virginia Receives Grant to Fight Child Hunger

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe yesterday (3/9) at Woodville Elementary School to announce that school divisions in Richmond and Southwest Virginia will benefit from a $9 million dollar federal grant to fight child hunger.

The grant will provide children 3 meals per day, 365 days a year. In addition to existing breakfast and lunch programs, students will receive packs of non-perishable food to take home for dinner as well as meals for weekends and breaks.

McAuliffe Discusses Trade With Cuban Ambassador

Governor Terry McAuliffe met yesterday with Cuban Ambassador José Ramón Cabañas to discuss trade opportunities,before his appearance today at the Governor’s Agricultural Trade Conference.

While the U.S. embargo on Cuba remains in effect for now, exceptions to the trade ban for agricultural and medical products have been in place for the past decade.

Since then Cuba has been purchasing Virginia soybeans, apples, poultry and pork.

Governor McAuliffe says he’d like to increase that business.

Herring Says School Boards Can Include Sexual Orientation in Non Discrimination Policies

Attorney General Mark Herring has issued an opinion that local school boards have the authority to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their anti-discrimination policies.

General Herring says the Supreme Court has maintained that the constitution grants broad supervisory powers to local school boards, putting such matters within their discretion.

The opinion overrules a 2002 opinion by former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore that concluded school boards did not have the authority to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Virginia To Study Mental Health Screenings For School Children

A bill passed by the General Assembly this session would start a 2-year study of the logistics of performing voluntary mental health screenings in public elementary schools.

The bill is patroned by Republican Delegate Joseph Yost of Giles, who says the state should shift it’s focus on mental health services from response to prevention.

He says early screenings and community based treatment will keep more people out of hospitals and the criminal justice system.

The bill passed the General Assembly and is now headed to Governor McAuliffe.

Deeds Calls 2015 Mental Health Reforms Modest

A year after spearheading a landmark package to reform the state’s mental health system,  State Senator Creigh Deeds calls the 2015 session’s improvements modest and says there is still much work to be done.

Just four months after surviving a life threatening attack at the hands of his mentally ill son Gus, who subsequently committed suicide, Senator Deeds pushed a $54 million dollar mental health overhaul through the General Assembly to unanimous passage.

Executions Could Stop Following Failure of Drug Bill

Virginia could be unable to carry out executions, following the failure in the General Assembly of a bill that would have allowed the manufacturers of drugs used for lethal imjection to remain anonymous.

In September, the three drug compounds used to execute criminals sentenced to death in Virginia will expire.

European manufacturers refuse to sell the drugs to the U.S. without written assertions that they will not be used for capital punishment.

Governor Terry McAuliffe personally opposes the death penalty but says he will enforce the law.

Lawmakers Approve Campus Sexual Assault Policy

Lawmakers have approved a campus sexual assault policy they say is the first of it’s kind in the nation.

The legislation will require state universities to report all felony sexual assaults either to local law enforcement or prosecutors.

Victims would also be allowed to report anonymously, a provision included to address criticism that the new requirements would prevent victims from coming forward.

Republican Delegate Rob Bell was the bill’s sponsor.

General Assembly Passes Ethics and Campus Sexual Assault Response Reforms

Lawmakers reached a last minute compromise on reforms to the state’s ethics code before adjourning late Friday night.

The ethics reform package will limit gifts to lawmakers at 100 dollars each, with no cumulative cap, but would include travel and meals.

Elected officials will continue to report gifts valued over 50 dollars.

Travel to widely attended events including conventions and campaign stops will be exempt.

Campaign contributions will remain unlimited.

The new rules will take effect January 1st.

Pages