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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

WCVE Public Radio political contributor.

Articles by Craig Carper

McDonnell’s Appeal to be Heard May 12

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will appear before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday (5/12) as his attorneys argue that his conviction last September on corruption and bribery charges should be thrown out.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will have a half hour each to make their cases to the three-judge panel.

McDonnell’s lawyers say the decision could have far reaching implications making felons of countless elected officials nationwide and criminalizing the business of politics. A decision could take weeks or months.

JLARC Seeks to Reduce Cost of Medicaid

The state’s legislative watchdog group, JLARC, met Monday (5/11) to discuss ongoing studies on controlling costs in higher education and reviewing the state’s Medicaid program.

JLARC wants to know how efficiently the state is administering Medicaid services and what more they can do through best practices to produce further cost savings.

Republican Delegate Steve Landes of Augusta says the cost of providing Medicaid has grown 8% annually to nearly a quarter of the state’s budget over the past 20 years.

Moran Calls Body Cameras Inevitable

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran says statewide implementation of police body cameras is inevitable.

41% of Virginia law enforcement agencies are already using body cameras in some capacity. Moran expects to recommend a framework for statewide implementation later this summer. He adds some logistical problems remain.

Identifying a funding mechanism will be an issue in some localities. Henrico spent over $150,000 to equip two thirds of its officers. Moran says he believes the state will set aside money to assist localities who can’t afford the cameras.

Kaine Renews Call for Congressional Authorization of Military Action

Senator Tim Kaine marked the 9-month anniversary of America’s military intervention against ISIL (ISIS) by calling on Congress to debate and vote to authorize and set the terms of the mission.

President Obama has maintained that the authorization voted by Congress in 2001 and 2002 gives him the power to take military action against ISIL without further congressional approval. Kaine says that authorization only applied to the groups that perpetrated the attacks of 911. ISIL was formed 2 years later.

Richmond Voting Machines Recycled

The City of Richmond has reached a unique solution for replacing the recently decertified WinVote touchscreen machines. They’ve recycled them.

Technicians at the Richmond Registrar’s office removed the touch screen units from the booths and adapted them for use with paper ballots, which voters will use in the June primary and the general election in November. They’ll also use 65 older booths the city has owned for 50 years.

Kirk Showalter, Richmond General Registrar, estimates the conversion saved the city $70,000.

Sweet Briar Stakeholders Meet at Attorney General’s Office

Attorneys for Sweet Briar College, Amhearst County and the coalition trying to save the school met privately for three hours yesterday (5/6) at the state Attorney General’s office to try to resolve the question of the school’s future.

The school announced in March 2015 that it would close its doors after a unanimous vote by the board, which cited insurmountable financial problems.

The group known as Save Sweet Briar previously had filed an injunction, which was later granted, to stop the school from spending money to shut itself down.

State to Implement Federal Law to Combat Trafficking of Foster Children

State lawmakers have been working to fight sex trafficking for the past several years. Now they’re taking special steps to comply with a new federal law to protect those in foster care from the crime.

Alicia Cundiff, Advocacy Director for the Richmond Justice Initiative, says foster care kids are some of the most vulnerable to sex traffickers.

State Reviews Child Mental Health Practices

Today (5/6) the Virginia Commission on Youth says the state is doing a good job implementing evidence based practices for children and adolescents with mental health treatment needs, but needs to remain vigilant as illnesses and treatments are constantly changing.

Republican Delegate Chris Peace of Hanover, Chairman of the commission says many children with status offenses including truants and runaways have undiagnosed mental health issues that contribute to their lack of success in school or in social interactions.

ABC Department Mission Under Review

Following two high profile incidents of botched arrests by ABC agents in Charlottesville, state officials held their first meeting to review how the agency enforces the law and what role it should play in the future.

Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, who chairs the review panel, says it will take a hard look at the law enforcement mission and structure of the ABC Department and try to change its culture.

Now 70% of the agency's law enforcement duties are regulatory, while 30% involve public safety issues including underage drinking and drunk driving.

Herring Says State Board Can’t Impose Strict Building Regs on Existing Abortion Clinics

Attorney General Mark Herring says the state Board of Health does not have the authority to enforce strict design and construction regulations on clinics that provide abortions, built before the new rules took effect. The rules require abortion providers in older facilities to meet the same building standards as hospitals.

Cianti Stewart Reid, Executive Director Planned Parent Advocates of Virginia, says three clinics in Virginia have already closed as a result of the regulations.

All 18 of Virginia’s existing clinics precede the regulations.

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