Sunday, March 17, 2013
Does the commonwealth need another name on the ballot?
Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling took himself out of Virginia's race for governor last week, leaving, at least for now, what's shaping up to be a two-person race. The choice for the Old Dominion's next governor, seven months before Election Day, seems to have boiled down to presumptive Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli, the state's socially conservative attorney general, against likely Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a McLean businessman. The Republican Party of Virginia will hold its convention on May 17 and 18 in Richmond to formally select its nominee. Democrats go to the polls on June 11 to cast their ballots in several races, including governor and lieutenant governor. …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Annandale legislators Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield) and Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) supported the legislation.
Sunday, February 24
By Stephen Nielsen, Capital News Service A divided Virginia Senate on Saturday passed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature issue of the 2013 legislative session – a bill to overhaul the state’s system for funding transportation. Just hours before the session’s end, the Senate voted 25-15 for House Bill 2313, which will raise about $880 million a year more for roads and mass transit by increasing sales taxes while lowering the fuels tax. The debate over how to increase revenue continued right up to the vote. Annandale-area Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield) and Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) supported the legislation; Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) voted against it. “This isn’t any bill. This is the only bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Governor sends letter to president, congressional delegation.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday sent a letter to President Barack Obama and the Old Dominion's congressional delegation calling for immediate action to prevent automatic spending cuts under sequestration. The $1.2 trillion in cuts — meant to force Congress to compromise, which hasn't happened — are slated to go into effect March 1. That deadline has been pushed back several times as lawmakers have brokered Band-Aid solutions. "The automatic sequestration reductions mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are already having a significant adverse effect on the Commonwealth," McDonnell stated. "When fully implemented, they could force Virginia and other states into a recession. Sequestration-mandated reductions will be implemented …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The governor visited Fairfax County on Monday to rally support for his transportation bill, promising some money to reduce fees on the Dulles Toll Road.
Gov. Bob McDonnell made a stop in Northern Virginia on Monday afternoon to urge locals to push their representatives to support his divisive transportation-funding package, which the state Senate is scheduled to vote on again Tuesday. The governor said his proposal, which failed to pass the Senate in a partisan, 20-20 vote last week, would raise about $3 billion for road and transit improvements over the next five years. The bill would eliminate the state’s 17.5-cents-per-gallon gas tax and raise the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent. The House last week amended their version of the bill, eliminating a $100 alternative vehicle fee for owners of hybrid cars and prohibiting tolls on I-95 south of Fredericksburg. Senate …
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Members tasked with reviewing, making recommendations about safety in Virginia schools.
A state task force designed to review school safety procedures and make recommendations for any improvements at Virginia's schools -- created in the wake of the December shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. -- is set to begin next week, after Gov. Bob McDonnell named 45 people to the group Wednesday. Shortly after the shootings, which left 26 students and educators dead, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued Executive Order 56 establishing a multidisciplinary task force to review school and campus safety. In addition to several state legislators, law enforcement officials and mental health and safety experts, the task force also includes k through 12 and university-level educators and administrators, two students and the father of a …
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A handful of historic houses in Old Town Alexandria have been included in the Virginia governor’s new list of historic homes in the state.
Monday, December 24, 2012
The group will review practices, identify vulnerabilities and make recommendations.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has formed a task force that will focus on school and safety in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “Even with raw emotions still running so high, it is prudent to begin to consider reasonable policy changes,” McDonnell said in a statement Thursday. “In the aftermath of the horrific and senseless shootings, I have asked all local and state leaders that play a role in school or campus safety to review the procedures, plans, policies and resources dedicated to this effort.” The task force will lead by the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Public Safety and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Representatives from law enforcement, state agencies, …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Local officials don't agree with directing $48 million of general fund money to transportation projects.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday a series of amendments to the Virginia State Budget that would increase net spending by more than $200 million. The amendments find $500 million in savings in the state’s two-year, $80 billion budget. But they propose an additional $736 million in new spending for teacher raises, funding to state colleges and increases in funding to local governments, along with transportation projects and teacher salary. “The budget amendments that I am presenting today reflect … the realities of this economy and the looming uncertainty that budget gridlock in Washington and the fiscal cliff are having on our economy,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Yet they look forward to building upon our legacy of conservative and…
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Proposal could raise $500 million annually, but Virginia governor gives few details Wednesday at transportation conference in Tysons.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday a potential solution to Virginia’s growing transportation funding problem, but cautioned those gathered at his Annual Transportation Conference in Tysons Corner he’ll need to get it through the General Assembly’s 2013 session first. The governor’s proposed package, he said during a keynote appearance Wednesday, would eliminate the need to dip into construction money by 2019 and raise $500 million annually for new roads, bridges and transit projects. How exactly remains to be seen: McDonnell gave few details about his proposal, saying he would reveal specifics in the coming weeks. Maintenance takes priority to construction of new roads in Virginia, McDonnell said, and since 2002, approximately $3.3 …
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Virginia's gas tax is a flat rate tax, but changes could be in the making.
Next year’s Thanksgiving road trip may be a little more expensive as Virginia officials grapple with how to adequately fund Virginia’s growing transportation infrastructure needs. Gov. Bob McDonnell said earlier this month that raising Virginia’s gas tax, tying it to inflation or otherwise adjusting it is not off the table. “I’m looking at a range of things,” McDonnell told reporters in Richmond. “I can tell you that every other major tax in Virginia—the sales tax, the corporate income tax, and the [personal] income tax—all fluctuate with economic activity because they’re a percentage. ... We’re looking at whether or not ... it should fluctuate with economic activity, like every other tax in Virginia.” Right now, Virginia’s state gas tax …