Virginia Secretary of Finance Ric Brown reveled yesterday that state revenue collections are down significantly for the month of May. If the downward trend continues over the next 40 days, the state could close this fiscal year with 300 million fewer dollars than expected. The news puts additional pressure on lawmakers to reach a compromise on the state budget, which must be passed by June 30th to avoid a government shutdown. Governor McAuliffe told House and Senate budget negotiators it was time to get back to work.
Articles by Craig Carper
Advocates for “smart growth” and local archaeological experts are expressing concerns with Mayor Jones' plan to relocate the Richmond Squirrels to a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom. The Partnership for Smarter Growth has sent a letter to the Jones administration asking them to restart the debate on Shockoe Stadium. They want to see greater transparency and public input on the project.
Republican Delegate Bob Marshall of Prince William has introduced two resolutions of inquiry into the impeachment of Attorney General Mark Herring. Marshall says Herring had no authority to offer in state tuition to children of illegal immigrants with defferred action status and is thwarting the will of the people by arguing against Virginia’s same sex marriage ban and pushing to change the tax code to allow joint filing for same sex couples married in other states.
The Richmond City Council has approved Mayor Jones’ $262 million public schools budget with the additional $3.8 million requested for operations by the School Board. Mayor Jones' budget also included $5 million for school maintenance. Council added an additional $2 million on top of that.
Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard a challenge to Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s February 14th decision, overturning the state’s ban on same sex marriage. Judge Allen ruled Virginia's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional but stayed her order pending an appeal.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has taken executive action on several women’s health issues, including instructing the State Board of Health to review controversial new regulations of clinics who provide abortions. The regulations require that such clinics meet the same structural standards as hospitals.
Today in Richmond, a randomly selected three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case appealing Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s February 14th decision striking down Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage. Each side will have 30 minutes to argue its case, though a decision from the court will likely take several weeks or months.
Former Governor Douglas Wilder wants to locate a new national slavery museum at 14th and Broad streets near Shockoe Bottom in a building currently owned by VCU. Wilder says he’s in preliminary discussions with VCU and MCV. A VCU spokesperson says no negotiations are underway. There is $10 million for a slavery museum in both the House of Delegates and Senate versions of the state budget, but the city of Richmond is expected to have memoranda of understanding in place for a Shockoe Bottom development plan before the funds are awarded.
Yesterday Governor Terry McAuliffe ceremonially signed a comprehensive package of mental health reform bills at St. Joseph’s Villa in Richmond. Changes in Virginia’s mental health system that are now law include extending the time that an individual may be held under a temporary detention order to 72 hours, shortening the time that courts have to report involuntary commitment orders to state police and additional requirements for crisis intervention training for law enforcement and medical professionals.
During its reconvened session, the General Assembly approved a 5-dollar increase to the 10-dollar fee on all felony convictions that funds the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICACs.) The state’s two ICACs use a national database of illicit child pornography to track Virginians trading in this material to their IP addresses and later to their homes. In many instances, the images and films are self-produced and investigators use these leads to uncover cases of child rape.