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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

Governor Seeks to Cap Tax Preferences, Raise Fees

Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to cap certain tax preferences and credits and raise various fees in order to close the state’s most recent $322 million dollar budget gap.

The Governor’s budget includes no cuts to k-12 public schools and increases wages for those at the bottom of the state pay scale, particularly Sherriff’s deputies, many of whom currently qualify for food stamps.

 

McAuliffe to Make Targeted Investments As Well As Cuts

This morning (12/17) as Governor McAuliffe announces cuts to state programs and caps on certain tax preferences when he announces his biannual budget amendments.

He’ll also call for new investments in other priority areas. Among these investments Governor McAuliffe includes over $500,000 to support First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe’s hunger initiative, increasing subsidies for Virginia’s school breakfast program, largely through federal funds, by 5¢ per meal to encourage greater participation.

Child Advocacy Group to Grade Judicial Nominees

Today (12/12) the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees will interview 20 judicial nominees. The national child advocacy group PROTECT will be there to grade several of the circuit court judges up for reappointment on their sentencing records on crimes against children. PROTECT wants prosecutors and judges to take child pornography and sexual exploitation more seriously.

Last year the Virginia Sentencing Commission attempted to downgrade sentencing for child pornography only to be stopped by emergency legislation passed by the General Assembly.

Federal Grant Expands Access to Preschool to 600 Kids in Richmond Region

Virginia has received a 17.5 million dollar federal grant, which will expand access to public preschool programs for 1,600 Virginia kids. 600 of those kids are in the Richmond metro area.

Emily Griffey, Senior Policy Analyst for Early Care and Education at Voices for Virginia’s Children, says these additional preschool slots were targeted toward kids who could benefit the most.

The new slots will open next fall. 

House GOP Proposes $100 Gift Ban for Lawmakers

The House of Delegates Republican Caucus has proposed a $100 gift ban for both tangible and intangible gifts. When he first took office Governor McAuliffe signed an executive order placing a $100 gift ban on himself, his family and his staff. His bipartisan commission on ethics reform recently recommended a $250 cap for all other elected leaders. House Republican Majority Leader Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights says the Caucus felt they should exceed that recommendation, matching the ban the Governor had set for himself.

Elected Leaders Promote “An Hour of Code”

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton and other elected leaders appeared at the Science Museum of Virginia yesterday (10/9) to encourage local students to participate in an “Hour of Code.”

There are currently more high tech jobs in the U.S. than there are qualified applicants. The national code movement encourages students to explore computer science at a young age through games and tutorials to put them on a path toward the high tech careers of tomorrow.

Bill Would Clarify Tenants Rights

A bill from Democratic Delegate Alfonso Lopez of Arlington would clarify that landlords cannot evict tenants as retaliation for filing a complaint. Under current law tenants have a very hard time disputing eviction notices on month-to-month leases. In some cases renters are evicted shortly after making complaints. Retaliatory eviction is unlawful but hard to prove.

State Workforce Development Programs Fall Short

A new study from the state’s legislative oversight commission, JLARC, shows that Virginia’s high schools and community colleges and other workforce training programs are failing to prepare students for in-demand skills. JLARC Analyst Tracey Smith says companies complain that the program is overly complex and difficult to use and improperly emphasizes low-demand skills.

Community College Spokesman Jeff Kraus says Virginia needs to invest in greater capacity for high-demand workforce credentials.

Board of Health Will Review Controversial Abortion Regulations

The State Board of Health has voted 13-2 to begin a two-year review process of controversial regulations to abortion clinics including building standards equal to those for new hospitals.

Victoria Cobb, President of the Family Foundation of Virginia pushed for the regulations to be adopted in 2012. She says the review process will not diminish that victory.

Kathy Greenier of the ACLU of Virginia says the regulations have nothing to do with patient health and safety. She says Thursday the board voted for medicine over politics.

McAuliffe Appoints Former Senator to Board Ahead of Abortion Vote

Yesterday, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed former Democratic state Senator Mary Margaret Whipple to the Board of Health, less than 24 hours before its meeting this morning (12/4), where it will vote on whether to review controversial abortion clinic regulations. The rules impose the same building standards for abortion clinics as those for new hospitals.

Abortion rights advocates say the standards are an effort to force clinics to close, as two have already done. Anti-abortion activists say they are necessary to protect women’s health.

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