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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

McAuliffe Announces International Trade Alliance

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Wednesday (7/15) the creation of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL).

VITAL will work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to increase international trade in Virginia.

Goals of VITAL over the next five years include growing Virginia exports by over $1.5 billion dollars, as well as creating 14,000 new trade-supported jobs.

The Governor says expanding trade is a must.

McAuliffe Recalls General Assembly To Redraw Congressional District

Governor Terry McAuliffe is calling the General Assembly back to Richmond on August 17th for a special session to redraw Virginia’s 3rd congressional district boundaries.

A court had ordered the maps be redrawn by September 1, 2015 after they found the House Republican authored plan packed black voters in the 3rd district, weakening their voting power in surrounding ones.

Coy says the Governor will adjust that date should the court agree to extend the September 1st deadline they issued 2 months ago.

State Expands Green Vehicle Conversion Program to Localities

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Commonwealth Transportation Board recently expanded access of the ‘Virginia Alternative Fuel Vehicles Program’ to include local governments.

The program provides funding to help cover the costs of switching publicly owned vehicles over to ones that use alternative fuel sources. Funding incentives offered by the program average $10,000 per new vehicle, and are now available in Richmond, Tidewater, Fredericksburg, and Northern Virginia.

Alleyn Harned, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities, says the new incentives are promising.

Lobbyist Spending on Entertainment is Down

Virginia lobbyists spent roughly 16 percent less on drinks, meals and entertainment for state lawmakers over the last 6-month reporting period than before Governor Bob McDonnell’s indictment on corruption charges.

A new report compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project found the total number of entertainment dollars down to $456,000 from $541,000 two years ago.

Some lawmakers, staff and lobbyists appear to be taking greater care to report the gifts that they receive.

2 Percent Raises Coming in September for State Employees

State workers will notice a 2% increase in their paychecks starting September 1st, as a result of a half billion dollar year end surplus, the biggest in Virginia history.

That includes classified state employees, college and university faculty, sheriff’s deputies, the judicial branch and local constitutional officers.

The surplus also covers the state share of a 1.5% pay raise for public school teachers, but localities will have to match that.

Virginia Achieves Highest Surplus Ever

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the leaders of the House and Senate money committees announced today (7/13) that Virginia has achieved it’s highest year-end revenue surplus ever, over half a billion dollars.

Much of the money will go to the state’s Rainy Day Fund and Water Quality Fund. The remainder will pay for 2% pay raises for state employees. It’s only the second time they’ve received an increase since 2007.

While he says this is good news, Governor McAuliffe warns that the state faces potential deep cuts in October as a result of sequestration.

McAuliffe Appoints 27 Members to Parole Review Commission

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed a 27-member commission to review the 1994 decision to eliminate parole in Virginia.

The Commission will be chaired by former Republican Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney.

Governor McAuliffe says jailing less non-violent offenders could save the state money. Republicans say the elimination of parole has worked and lowered the state’s crime rate.

McAuliffe Says Keep Bike Race on Monument Avenue

Governor Terry McAuliffe says confederate statues should remain on Monument Avenue and the route of the UCI Championship Bike Race should not be moved to avoid them.

A group of activists has been advocating for the UCI Bike Championship Race Route to be moved from Monument Avenue. Confederate statues around the city have been vandalized since the South Carolina church shooting last month, causing some to call for the statues to be removed.

Republican Delegate Chris Jones Defends House District Boundaries in Court

The Republican Delegate who drew the House of Delegates redistricting plan in 2011 took to the witness stand in Alexandria yesterday (7/8) to defend his work, saying race was just one of many factors used to set the boundaries.

The plaintiffs in the case allege that Jones unnecessarily packed black voters into the 12 districts in question, diluting their voting power in the surrounding ones.