Join us on         

Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

88.9 WCVE Public Radio News Director.

Articles by Craig Carper

Lobbyist Spending on Entertainment is Down

Virginia lobbyists spent roughly 16 percent less on drinks, meals and entertainment for state lawmakers over the last 6-month reporting period than before Governor Bob McDonnell’s indictment on corruption charges.

A new report compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project found the total number of entertainment dollars down to $456,000 from $541,000 two years ago.

Some lawmakers, staff and lobbyists appear to be taking greater care to report the gifts that they receive.

2 Percent Raises Coming in September for State Employees

State workers will notice a 2% increase in their paychecks starting September 1st, as a result of a half billion dollar year end surplus, the biggest in Virginia history.

That includes classified state employees, college and university faculty, sheriff’s deputies, the judicial branch and local constitutional officers.

The surplus also covers the state share of a 1.5% pay raise for public school teachers, but localities will have to match that.

Virginia Achieves Highest Surplus Ever

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the leaders of the House and Senate money committees announced today (7/13) that Virginia has achieved it’s highest year-end revenue surplus ever, over half a billion dollars.

Much of the money will go to the state’s Rainy Day Fund and Water Quality Fund. The remainder will pay for 2% pay raises for state employees. It’s only the second time they’ve received an increase since 2007.

While he says this is good news, Governor McAuliffe warns that the state faces potential deep cuts in October as a result of sequestration.

McAuliffe Appoints 27 Members to Parole Review Commission

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed a 27-member commission to review the 1994 decision to eliminate parole in Virginia.

The Commission will be chaired by former Republican Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney.

Governor McAuliffe says jailing less non-violent offenders could save the state money. Republicans say the elimination of parole has worked and lowered the state’s crime rate.

McAuliffe Says Keep Bike Race on Monument Avenue

Governor Terry McAuliffe says confederate statues should remain on Monument Avenue and the route of the UCI Championship Bike Race should not be moved to avoid them.

A group of activists has been advocating for the UCI Bike Championship Race Route to be moved from Monument Avenue. Confederate statues around the city have been vandalized since the South Carolina church shooting last month, causing some to call for the statues to be removed.

Republican Delegate Chris Jones Defends House District Boundaries in Court

The Republican Delegate who drew the House of Delegates redistricting plan in 2011 took to the witness stand in Alexandria yesterday (7/8) to defend his work, saying race was just one of many factors used to set the boundaries.

The plaintiffs in the case allege that Jones unnecessarily packed black voters into the 12 districts in question, diluting their voting power in the surrounding ones.

ABC Review Panel Considers Absorbing Law Enforcement Arm into State Police

The Governor’s ABC Enforcement Review Panel held its 3rd meeting yesterday (7/8), and discussed whether the agency should continue to police the state’s liquor laws or become the responsibility of another department.

The review follows controversial arrests by ABC agents of two underage UVA students over the past two years. Martese Johnson was suspected of public intoxication and assaulted. His charges were later dropped.

House of Delegates Redistricting Case Begins in Alexandria

Today (7/7) federal judges in the Eastern District Court in Alexandria heard oral arguments as well as testimony from several key witnesses in a challenge to Virginia’s House of Delegates district boundaries.

Last month the same court ordered legislature to redraw congressional districts drawn in 2011 by the General Assembly because they unconstitutionally packed African American voters into the Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, diluting their voting power.

Gilmore to Run for President

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore says he plans to announce in August that he will run for President.

Gilmore told the Richmond Times Dispatch that he would bring unique expertise in national security and economic issues that the other Republican candidates don’t have.

The former Governor, now 65, has also served as a national security advisor to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

He now runs a conservative think tank in Washington.