Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones says he will use two million dollars in surplus funds from real estate tax collections to create a reserve fund for the maintenance of Richmond Public Schools. Jones had wanted to return the money to taxpayers and reduce the city’s real estate tax by one cent per $100 of assessed value, though there was little appetite for this on City Council.
Articles by Craig Carper
Today is the final day to register to vote for the November election. Party officials and activists are working hard to educate Virginians about new requirements to cast their ballots. Virginia voters are now required to bring a valid photo ID to the polls in order to vote.
The law was passed two years ago, but has not been fully implemented until this year.
You can obtain a free photo ID from your local registrar.
According to the state board of elections 200,000 registered voters in the Virginia do not have a DMV issued ID.
During Monday night’s (10/13) People’s Debate on WCVE, Senator Mark Warner had several lively exchanges with Ed Gillespie about whether or not the Republican challenger had signed or taken the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes under any circumstances. Warner says the Norquist pledge ties lawmakers hands when dealing with deficit reduction.
Gillespie says he and Warner’s differences on taxes present voters with one of the biggest choices of the election.
Norquist confirms that while Gillespie has promised not to raise taxes, he has not signed the pledge.
The Virginia brewing industry has just doubled in size with the announcement that the California based Stone Brewing Company will locate its second U.S. brewery in Richmond. Steve Wagner, President and Brewmaster for Stone Brewing Company, says Stone visited 40 sites before choosing Richmond.
As the search continues for missing UVA student Hannah Graham, the Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence held their first meeting yesterday in Capitol Square, sharing ideas to prevent future such disappearances from happening. Attorney General Mark Herring who chairs the task force says the group will identify the best practices for prevention and response, but will give universities flexibility in their implementation.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order requiring state agencies to comply with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Virginia. State employees who are eligible for health benefits will be able to enroll their spouses and eligible dependents in those insurance plans within 60 days of marriage. Married same sex couples will also be able to file their state income taxes jointly.
The Federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the boundaries of Virginia’s 3rd congressional district as unconstitutional. They say the General Assembly unlawfully packed African-Americans there into a single majority minority seat. The 3rd district contains large portions of Richmond, Petersburg, Newport News, Hampton and Norfolk all with large African-American populations. The General Assembly is ordered to redraw the 3rd district by April 1, but will require changes to other neighboring GOP districts.
During last night’s (10/7) second debate between Senator Mark Warner and his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, the two sparred over a host of topics, including immigration reform. Warner attacked Gillespie for not supporting a popular comprehensive Senate immigration reform bill, since stalled in the House, that would have doubled border security. Gillespie says in 2009 Warner voted against an amendment to the bill to secure the border with a fence. Warner would not say he opposed unilateral reforms from the President but did say the issue was better resolved legislatively.
Last night the Richmond School Board removed and reassigned G.H. Reid Elementary School Principal Vincent Darby after two years on the job and significant drops in SOL scores.
In the past two years, G.H. Reid has fallen into priority status, a classification for schools in the bottom 5% of Title One schools in the state. Those in priority status are automatically entered into a federally mandated reform process, which requires the board to replace the principal or lose up to $500,000 in federal funding for resources to turn the school around.
For the first time, same-sex couples began legally marrying in Virginia Monday afternoon. Danielle Sally and Heather Sturgill were the third same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in the city of Richmond. Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring says all clerks are now required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and that so far all are complying.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are disappointed, but hold out hope that the Supreme Court will ultimately issue a definitive ruling in their favor.