The former president of a Virginia teachers union was arrested and charged with embezzlement from the organization on Monday, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Ingrid Gant, former president of the Arlington Education Association (AEA), was arrested after police conducted a six-month audit that showed she embezzled $410,782.10 from the union, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.Read More
The Senate Committee on Education and Health voted to “pass by indefinitely” on three school choice bills by Republican lawmakers Thursday – a signal other school choice bills in the Virginia House of Delegates could face obstacles moving forward.
One of the measures defeated Thursday sought to create a “Parental Choice Education Savings Account” program, which parents could apply for and use toward certain expenses, including private school tuition.Read More
A panel of Virginia Senate lawmakers voted down Republican-backed bills seeking to enact bans on abortion in the commonwealth Thursday, including a 15-week ban backed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
The Senate Education and Health Committee voted to defeat a bill making it unlawful for physicians to perform an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy unless the life of the mother is at risk, or the pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest.Read More
A report from the Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office says the Virginia Parole Board violated state law governing victim and prosecutor notifications and had a “culture of ignoring the Virginia Code, Parole Board policies, and administrative procedures,” while accelerating the rate of releases in March 2020. Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment, Jr. (R-James City) responded to the report by requesting Judge Adrianne Bennett, who was Parole Board chair, to resign.
“Under Chair Adrianne Bennett, the Virginia Parole Board endangered public safety and abused its power by releasing dozens of violent felons against Parole Board policies, and frequently in clear violation of a court order or Virginia law,” Attorney General Miyares said in a press release announcing the report. “Judge Bennett’s brazen abuse of her power put Virginians’ safety at risk so that she could promote a criminal-first, victim-last agenda without regard for victims or their safety.”Read More
Administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (TJ) in Fairfax County, Virginia, failed to make Honors classes notations on the official school transcripts of their students, Parents Defending Education (PDE) has discovered.Read More
After discussing the measure at length, lawmakers in the state Senate voted to kill a bill seeking to establish permanent Daylight Saving Time in Virginia.
Following debate and discussion that at times prompted laughter in the chamber, lawmakers ultimately voted down Senate Bill 1017, which proposed ending the practice of changing the clocks twice a year, and would keep Virginia on daylight saving time.Read More
The Virginia House of Delegates passed Governor Glenn Youngkin’s bills to cut the business tax rate from six to five percent and the top individual income tax bracket from 5.75 to 5.5 percent. The two bills would also increase individual and business income tax deductions.
“Virginians are still overtaxed, they deserve to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks and today’s significant move by the House of Delegates means Virginians are one step closer to additional relief,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a release after the bills passed out of the House on Wednesday.Read More
As Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares investigates potential civil rights violations in the widespread withholding of timely National Merit Scholar award notifications to students in suburban Washington, D.C., possibly on “equity” grounds, a local law professor known for public health crusades is floating a novel legal strategy for aggrieved students. George Washington University’s John Banzhaf says Virginia courts this century have recognized a “somewhat obscure” class of legal claims known as “prima facie torts” that don’t depend on difficult-to-prove allegations such as intentional infliction of emotional distress or racial discrimination.Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke at a rally on Monday where he shot hoops with children and called for his supporters to pressure their legislators to support the tax relief package included in his budget amendment proposal.Read More
Growth in plants connected to electric vehicles has roared across the country. Not everyone, however, is quickly jumping in. When Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said last week that he stopped efforts to establish a Ford Motors battery plant at a megasite in the state due to its Chinese partner, it was the first time University of Texas professor Nathan Jensen could recall a state rejecting an economic incentive deal for a battery plant.Read More
A Virginia Senate subcommittee recommended against a bill that would have allowed terminally ill people to request a medically-assisted death after Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke City) joined with Republicans in opposition; the bill will still go before the full Senate Education and Health Committee for consideration.Read More
The University of Richmond recently removed the name of T.C. Williams, an early benefactor, from its law school because of his alleged ownership of slaves in the 19th century.
But his descendants say Williams contributed to the demise of slavery and now argue the university should refund Williams’ previously donated money to the institution.Read More
A bill to create a loan repayment program for Virginia mental health professionals sailed through a House of Delegates subcommittee Thursday, receiving bipartisan approval from a panel of lawmakers.
House Bill 1534, authored by Del. Nadarius Clark, D-Portsmouth, and supported by other Democratic lawmakers, proposes the creation of a Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program for professionals who have worked in the mental health field in Virginia for at least five years.Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin is asking legislators to expand the 2022 Virginia Literacy Act to fifth grade; the program currently provides literacy curriculum, materials, testing, and intervention for kindergarten through third grades.
“We know that K through third graders, if they’re behind in reading, it’s really hard to catch back up,” Youngkin said at a Thursday press conference at George W. Carver Elementary School. “And that’s why we’re working to extend the Virginia Literacy Act support into fourth and fifth grade. It’s such an important effort for us. And the great thing is this is all being done on a bipartisan basis.”Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia – Governor Glenn Youngkin said Thursday that he felt that Ford’s partnership with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) to build a battery factory potentially sited in Virginia seemed like an effort to dodge the intent behind the Inflation Reduction Act, and accused The Richmond Times-Dispatch of ignoring facts in reporting on his decision to block the economic development opportunity from going forward in the Commonwealth.Read More
Senate Democrats killed legislation to repeal law that links Virginia’s emissions standards to California regulations on Tuesday, while a similar bill advanced out of committee in the House of Delegates on Wednesday. The Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Conservation Committee bundled several similar bills from Republicans into a vote on Senator Stephen Newman’s (R-Bedford) SB 779 and voted eight to seven to kill the legislation after about an hour of discussion of the bills with legislators and the public.Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia — Republicans and gun rights activists rallied at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, known as Lobby Day. They said this year’s General Assembly will be focused on blocking gun control legislation and on picking like-minded candidates for primaries and in the November general election. At a separate rally and a press conference Monday, Democrats announced measures aimed at preventing gun violence, but with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate, both parties are likely to have little success in passing legislation.
“We’ve heard from the Virginia Senate that they’re the brick wall,” Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) told the crowd outside the Bell Tower. “We saw them kill a lot of legislative priorities last year from Republicans. But what you’re going to see this year: the Democrats have dropped a lot of anti-Second Amendment bills, and what you’re going to see is this Republican majority in the House stand up to that and kill that in our public safety committee. And so that’s a big thing. You’re not going to see repeals of all of the laws that have offended us that the Democrats passed in 2020 and 2021, because while we can get them out of our house, they will die in the Senate.”Read More
Speakers at a pro-gun rally at the Virginia Capitol on Monday criticized some Republican politicians, including Attorney General Jason Miyares, whose office is defending a lawsuit over Virginia’s universal background check laws.
“Democrats might not actually be the roadblock. The roadblock might be Republicans that think that they have the base. There’s something called, ‘The Lesser of Two Evils Fallacy.’ It says that I’m not as bad as the other person, so therefore I’m going to get the votes of my base. We have to get rid of that. If a Republican goes anti-gun, we have to primary them,” Guns of America (GOA) Special Projects Coordinator John Crump said in a speech.Read More
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) said the failure of high schools in Fairfax County to notify students of their National Merit Scholarship program recognition is due to the district’s “maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs.”
In an interview Friday with ABC 7News, Youngkin commented on the acknowledgement by seven high schools in Fairfax County that they did not inform students of their recognition in time for their college scholarship and admission deadlines.Read More
Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) has introduced a constitutional amendment to add approving charter schools to the Virginia Board of Education’s powers.
“We’ve seen a huge number of parents move their children to private or homeschooling environments, and the only people who can’t take advantage of it are the people who can’t afford it. And I just don’t think that we ought to be depriving Virginians of a high-quality education either because they can’t afford it or because of the zip code we’re in,” Obenshain told The Virginia Star.Read More
Virginia Democrats are pushing for stricter gun safety measures during the 2023 legislative session in response to what they say is an “epidemic” of gun violence.
Democratic lawmakers in the state Senate have introduced a range of gun control proposals, including bills that will prohibit individuals from carrying assault weapons in certain public areas and prohibit the sale of unserialized weapon parts, more commonly known as “ghost guns.”Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin blocked Virginia from consideration for a battery plant to supply Ford Motor Company amid concerns about the technology supplied by a Chinese company, he told reporters on Wednesday.
In a press gaggle, Youngkin criticized a clean energy push that relied on technology “owned and dominated by the Chinese.”
“Well, we in fact felt that the recent efforts to put forward a Ford plant that would house Chinese technology to build the batteries was in fact representative of that. And that we felt the right thing to do was to not recruit Ford as a front for China to America. Let’s develop our own technology,” Youngkin said after his State of the Commonwealth speech.Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia — In a Thursday presentation to legislators, Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller touted reduced DMV wait times, record Port of Virginia profits, and expansion at Virginia’s spaceport, but he said fatality rates on Virginia highways are ticking up and northern Virginia commuter rail and metro options are in bad financial condition.
“WMATA [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority] is not so good,” Miller told the Senate Transportation Committee. “A new CEO, really excited about him. A lot of work to do. A lot. Huge deficit looming. Not really sure how we’re going to deal with that.”Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin continued his call for tax cuts, changes to education policy, and increased funding for law enforcement as part of his Wednesday State of the Commonwealth address; he described his first term as a reversal after his Democratic predecessors, and called on legislators to “press the accelerator.”
“I am here this afternoon to communicate that the state of our Commonwealth is substantially better than it was last year,” he said to applause. “We are still a great distance from our destination. A destination where Virginia truly is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m here this afternoon to urge us to accelerate our efforts to get more done and to get it done faster.”Read More
On Monday, Jason Miyares, the Attorney General of Virginia, announced that his office would conduct an investigation into all public schools in Fairfax County, over allegations that schools throughout the area have withheld merit awards from winners in the name of “equity.”
As Fox News reports, Miyares had already begun a civil rights investigation on Wednesday into Thomas Jefferson High School after parents complained that the school’s withholding of such awards negatively impacted their students’ college applications, with the awards not being announced until after most application deadlines had passed.Read More
Democrat Aaron Rouse declared victory in Tuesday’s special election to fill a state senate seat left vacant after now Congresswoman Jen Kiggans’ (R-VA-02) election to Congress; however, Republicans may consider requesting a recount due to Kevin Adams’ loss by less than one percent in preliminary results.
“THANK YOU! With your support, and the support of voters from across Virginia Beach and Norfolk, we have won this Special Election. No rest for the weary – tomorrow, we head to Richmond to get to work for Virginia families,” Rouse tweeted.Read More
Virginia Tech attorneys have agreed to a $100,000 settlement with a female soccer player who alleged that she lost playing time after refusing to go along with the woke agenda of her coach.
However, her former coach, stated that he had actually won and that the settlement proves he was telling the truth.Read More
Senate District Seven voters are voting Tuesday to fill the vacancy left now that Jen Kiggans is representing the region in Congress; while the SD 7 race is the most competitive on Tuesday, there are also elections in House Districts 35 and 24.
In SD7, Republican Kevin Adams, a Navy veteran, is running against Democrat Aaron Rouse, former Virginia Beach City councilman and a former NFL player. Senate Democrats see the special election as a chance to expand their narrow 21-seat majority, which leaves them vulnerable to tie-breaking votes from Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears. For Republicans, keeping a Republican in the seat is important if they hope to see even minor changes on issues like education and abortion.Read More
Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) has introduced a bill to create education savings accounts (ESAs) for parents that would receive a portion of state education funds; the money-follows-the-student bill is in line with long-sought Republican education goals.
“This is about where our children should go to school,” Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears said at a Thursday press conference.Read More
Virginia lawmakers may soon consider removing the existing age restriction on people eligible for a military benefits income tax subtraction under a bill pre-filed ahead of the 2023 session.
House Bill 1436 by Del. John J. McGuire, R-Goochland, proposes removing the age 55 or older restriction, which would allow younger veterans to take advantage of income tax subtractions of up to $40,000 in military benefits in the coming years.Read More
One of the northern Virginia public school officials indicted last month in connection with how his school district handled two high-profile, 2021 sexual assaults in schools is facing a felony perjury charge in the case, his attorney said Thursday.
The official, Wayde Byard, a Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman, was indicted by a Virginia special state grand jury following an investigation into how the school system handled the assaults.Read More
Heading into the second year of his term, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin says he wants to “compete to win” with other states when it comes to attracting business and people to the Commonwealth.
That was the main takeaway from a speech given by the governor Thursday, when he touted proposed budget amendments to cut $1 billion in taxes and outlined his strategy to “win” in the Commonwealth.Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin is at 52 percent approval, 32 percent disapproval in a Virginia Commonwealth University Poll that comes as he makes a pitch for tax cuts and business incentives ahead of a General Assembly session beginning January 11.
“Poll respondents feel that inflation needs to be dealt with and democracy ensured for our future,” former governor L. Douglas Wilder said in an announcement of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs poll.Read More
Delegate Wren Williams (R-Patrick) was found not guilty of assaulting Delegate Marie March (R-Floyd) on Wednesday. An outside judge brought in to hear the case said March’s legal team failed to prove Williams intentionally assaulted her, according to The Roanoke Times.
Williams and March are conservative Republicans in neighboring districts who have been paired into the same deep-red district for the upcoming election cycle, setting off one of the most heated primary battles currently in Virginia.Read More
Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Wednesday a civil rights investigation into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology amid allegations that school officials suppressed student merit awards until after college early application periods.
“My office will investigate whether the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology administration’s withholding of National Merit Scholarship honors from students violated the Virginia Human Rights Act,” he wrote in a letter to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid and TJ Principal Ann Bonitatibus, warning that he planned to issue subpoenas if the officials don’t cooperate.Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin has asked Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the administration at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology after allegations that officials downplayed student National Merit awards until after early selection college deadlines.
“We need to get to the bottom of what appears to be an egregious, deliberate attempt to disadvantage high-performing students at one of the best schools in the country,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a Tuesday press release. “Parents and students deserve answers and Attorney General Miyares will initiate a full investigation. I believe this failure may have caused material harm to those students and their parents, and that this failure may have violated the Virginia Human Rights Act.”Read More
General Motors (GM) gave a grant to an organization that supplies elementary schools with books promoting the transgender ideology.
The automotive manufacturing company donated money to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) “Rainbow Library Program,” according to a 2021 Social Impact Report published by GM.Read More
American Catholic leaders are acclaiming the life and work of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose scholarly writings emphasized the unity of faith and reason and, most fundamentally, the primary truth of the Catholic faith, which teaches God is Love.
Benedict, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, died Saturday at the age of 95. He became pope in April 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II, and served until his resignation in February 2013.Read More
Virginia Republicans have introduced several bills to repeal legislation that ties Virginia’s vehicle emissions rules to California’s standards. Republican efforts to repeal Democrat-passed pro-environment legislation failed in the Senate in 2022 and are likely to face the same fate this year, but Republicans are drawing new urgency from a summer 2022 move by California regulators to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
“This law, adopted during the two years when Democrats had total control of Virginia’s government, puts unelected bureaucrats from California in charge of our emission standards,” Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford) wrote in a Sunday op-ed in The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “That’s not the worst thing about the new rules. The worst thing is that they just won’t work.”Read More
Virginia gained more than 26,000 residents between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, according to 2022 population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
As of July 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates Virginia’s population sat at 8,683,619 – an increase of 26,254 residents compared to July 2021 estimates. The figure represents a 0.3% change from 2021 to 2022.Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $24.7 million in grants targeted at improving 20 blighted nonresidential properties across Virginia.
The funds will be supplemented by an additional $72.8 million in other funding sources, with 600 jobs expected as a result of the projects. The new round of grants comes as Youngkin places an emphasis on business development and helping blighted regions.Read More
Dealers who sell or distribute substances containing fentanyl could face first-degree murder charges under a bill introduced by a Virginia lawmaker.
House Bill 1455 would declare anyone who knowingly distributes or sells 2 milligrams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of fentanyl to another person without their knowledge it contains fentanyl is guilty of attempted first-degree murder by poison.Read More
State Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) is trying again to pass a ban on politicians accepting campaign funds from Dominion Energy and other utilities.
Petersen’s SB 804, pre-filed for the 2023 General Assembly session, is similar to 2022 bills sponsored by Petersen, State Senator Richard Stuart (R-King George), and Delegate Lee Ware (R-Powhatan). The Senate Privileges and Elections committee killed the Senate bills in bipartisan votes 11 to four.Read More
Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) and Delegate Paul Krizek (D-Mount Vernon) have prefiled legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session to create a problem gambling committee composed of gambling industry representatives and problem gambling prevention advocates.
“As Virginia moves forward with the expansion of gaming, it’s important that we understand the ills that come with it,” Reeves said in a Tuesday press release. “We must focus our attention on Virginians who struggle with gambling addiction. Delegate Krizek and myself are excited to announce our bipartisan effort to ensure that our Commonwealth’s gaming regulations properly reflect the much-needed funds for problem identification, gambling addiction education, and treatment.”Read More
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, reportedly delayed notifying its students of their receipt of certain academic achievement awards until after the deadlines for early selection at some colleges and universities, which many parents have alleged was done as part of the school district’s alleged efforts to create “equal outcomes for every student, without exception.”Read More
Virginia will reduce its grocery sales tax rate starting Jan. 1, resulting in a 1% tax on groceries and certain essential personal hygiene products.
Virginia will eliminate the 1.5% state retail sales and use tax on food and certain hygiene products, leaving a 1% local option sales tax.Read More
Loudoun County parents are speaking out against a resident’s petition that calls to ban hate speech from school board meetings following a school board meeting in which parents lambasted school officials over their handling of a sexual assault case.
The petition, signed by several hundred county residents and started by 19-year-old Andrew Pihonak, a Loudoun County resident and member of the LGTBTQ community, calls to “ban hate speech in Loudoun School Board meetings” after a man called homosexuality “immoral” and quoted a violent Bible verse during the public comment period of the Dec. 13 board meeting. Parents present at the meeting and seeking accountability from the school board for a special grand jury report, which found the district failed to alert the community of multiple sexual assaults within the district, told the Daily Caller News Foundation the one comment is not representative of their efforts and that their demands have nothing to do with the LGBTQ community.Read More
Virginia’s minimum wage is set to increase from $11 to $12 per hour Jan. 1, a rise that comes after an attempt by Republican lawmakers to halt the minimum wage increase failed earlier this year.
The increase comes as a result of 2020 law that outlined incremental wage increases starting in 2021. The law specified that employers must pay $12 an hour starting Jan. 1 and paves the way for $15 an hour in future years, but that’s dependent on future action by the General Assembly.Read More
A Democratic candidate who appeared on the ballot in Tuesday’s 4th Congressional District firehouse primary filed a lawsuit accusing the Democratic Party of Virginia of placing an “unconstitutional burden” on voters due to the placement of polling sites.
Tavorise Marks, a civil rights advocate and a candidate who appeared on Tuesday’s ballot, claims the party “in its ‘firehouse primary’ scheme has created an unconstitutional burden on potential voters in the 15 jurisdictions of the 4th Congressional District.”Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin has released a list of more than 300 regulatory changes his administration plans to implement by July 2023, and also a manual for agencies on how to comply with the governor’s June Executive Order 19, focused on improving Virginia’s regulatory process and ordering a 25 percent reduction in total regulations.
“Our new Office of Regulatory Management is transforming how Virginians can access regulatory materials,” Youngkin said in a Tuesday announcement.Read More