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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

McDonnell Urges OEI to Appeal Norfolk Court Decision

Former Governor Bob McDonnell says he’s disappointed by the Norfolk Circuit Court Judge’s decision last week, ruling unconstitutional one of the hallmark initiatives of his administration, the Opportunity Education Institution or OEI. Governor McDonnell says he’s urging the OEI Board to appeal the decision.

The OEI would act as a statewide school board and take over schools from localities that consistently fail to meet state benchmarks. The former Governor says for young people now trapped in failing schools there are no other options.

SW Va. Race Will Determine Control of State Senate

The August 19th special election to replace Senator Phil Puckett of Tazewell will determine the balance of power in the state Senate and likely the future legislative agenda of Governor Terry McAuliffe. Mike Hymes, a Tazewell County supervisor and third generation coal miner, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat at Wednesday’s nominating convention in Bluefield.

Democrats have seen their numbers shrink in rural communities over the past decade and Puckett’s seat was one of the closest races in the state last November.

Richmond Board Considers Changing Expulsion Policy for Marijuana Use

The Richmond School Board is considering changing its policy of automatic one-year expulsion for students who are caught using marijuana or alcohol for the first time. Should the board decide to change the policy it would instate a mandatory suspension of up to ten days as well as a counseling program for the student and parents. School Board Vice Chair Kristen Larson says the move would be an effort to change the focus from punishment to prevention and rehabilitation.

McAuliffe Signs Bill to Increase Charitable Redevelopment

Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill that will increase the number of properties available for charitable groups like Habitat for Humanity to build on or renovate. Under current law tax delinquent properties with an assessed value of over $50,000 could not be sold by localities to charitable groups. In addition, restrictions on the percentage of tax delinquency to assessed value was making the sale of delinquent properties for redevelopment difficult.

Democratic Leader Calls for Investigation of Puckett Resignation

The House of Delegates Democratic Minority Leader David Toscano says he will call for an Inspector General’s investigation into the resignation of former Senator Phillip Puckett, which gave control of the Senate to the Republicans. On the House floor Thursday night Toscano raised questions about whether Puckett’s resignation was given in exchange for a 6 figure job with the state Tobacco Commission.

Cantor Defeat Emboldened Tea Party Against Medicaid

Supporters of Medicaid expansion on both sides of the aisle say Eric Cantor’s defeat this week emboldened Tea Party conservatives in the General Assembly in their opposition to using federal dollars to expand health care services for the poor. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will carefully be evaluating the budget and will take actions he deems necessary.

Assembly Passes Budget Without Medicaid Expansion

The General Assembly has ended its three-month standoff and passed a two-year budget without Medicaid expansion. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will  be evaluating  the budget carefully and will take actions he deems necessary. Though population and the need for state services has grown, state spending will remain essentially flat.

Cantor Will Resign as Majority Leader July 31st

Congressman Eric Cantor says he will resign as U.S. Majority Leader by July 31st in order to avoid a messy fight to name his successor. Though he will no longer be Majority Leader, Cantor will remain in Congress until his term expires in January.

Cantor called on the GOP to put their differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate. Cantor says should Majority Whip and fellow Young Guns author Kevin McCarthy choose to run for Majority Leader that he will support him.

House and Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached an agreement on the state’s two year spending plan and the General Assembly returns to Capitol Square today to consider it’s passage.

The plan reduces the new spending introduced in Governor McDonnell’s outgoing budget in December, by over 800 million dollars. The rest of the state’s projected 1.55 billion shortfall will be offset by the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

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