Some Virginia universities intend to prohibit marijuana on campus grounds after it becomes legal for recreational use for adults age 21 and older in the state.
Although the commonwealth will allow legal possession beginning in two weeks, the plant still is illegal at the federal level and a schedule I drug under the controlled substance act. If a university allows marijuana on campus, some universities worry it could threaten their federal funding.
A spokesperson from James Madison University told The Center Square the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices will continue to address incidents of marijuana on campus because use and possession are illegal under federal law.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam held a ceremonial bill signing on legislation that provides financial assistance for higher education to students who are in the country illegally.
House Bill 2123/Senate Bill 1387 will allow students who are in the state illegally to access education benefits equal to residents of the commonwealth, including in-state tuition and financial assistance programs the state provides for public and private colleges and universities.
“Until last year, undocumented students had to pay out-of-state tuition rates,” Northam said Monday during the ceremony at Marymount University. “We’re all proud to have changed that. Lowering the cost barriers for children who have grown up in our schools. And now it’s time to give those students the opportunity to get help in paying for their education.”
Virginians who receive food stamps will continue to be eligible for higher pandemic-era benefits through June, the Virginia Department of Social Services announced.
Families receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see additional benefits automatically loaded onto their EBT cards. The funds will be added n June 16.
A household of one will be eligible for up to $234 monthly while the emergency funding continues. A family of two could receive up to $430, a family of three up to $616 and a family of four up to $782. The funding gradually increases for every additional member of a family.
Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is two points below former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe in a new WPA Intelligence poll. This, according to an article that The Republican Standard published Thursday. The poll said Youngkin had 46 percent while McAuliffe had 48 percent.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is gradually expanding its appointment opportunities this month and next month now that most of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have come to an end.
Starting June 1, the DMV opened 184,000 additional appointment opportunities and the department will open up more appointments June 15 and again in July. Residents can secure their slots for the June 15 appointment expansion at this time. The department is hiring and training new employees to keep up with the higher number of appointments.
“Virginians have told us they appreciate the convenience and high quality service the appointment system affords,” Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said in a news release at the time of the announcement. “The Governor’s announcement … enables us to open more windows so customers can secure appointments sooner, but we are still taking great care to offer service that is safe for everyone.”
I am a proud Democrat who has had the honor of serving the Commonwealth in three different offices including Commonwealth’s Attorney, House of Delegates and, currently, the Virginia State Senate. However, on Tuesday June 8th, I will not be voting for Democrat Mark Herring. There are three (3) primary reasons why Mark Herring has lost the trust of the Electorate and does not deserve re-election. Please consider the following and decide for yourself whether or not Attorney General Herring deserves a third (3rd) term in office.
The University of Virginia is permitting “undocumented” students to waive their $400 enrollment deposits.
On April 27, undocUVA — a student activist group — called on the university to “do better” in extending financial aid to classmates illegally present in the United States.
“Matriculating marginalized students without providing adequate resources for them is a strategy of exclusion,” said an undocUVA statement.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill requiring several universities to start programs benefiting descendants of slave laborers.
The “Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program” was established “for the purpose of reckoning with the history of the Commonwealth” and “acknowledging that the foundational success of several public institutions of higher education was based on the labor of enslaved individuals.”
The bill — signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) on May 5 — forces Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and the College of William and Mary to implement the program “with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases.”
Packaged tuna manufacturer Starkist is closing up its headquarters in Pittsburgh and moving to northern Virginia, but most of the details about the move have not been revealed.
Starkist will close its office in the North Shore of Pittsburgh on March 31, 2022, but will maintain a presence in the area. Its new headquarters will open in northern Virginia in 2022, but the company did not say in which locality.
The company did not announce the reasons for its relocation. No announcements have been made related to taxpayer-funded subsidies or other incentives, which could be part of a deal.
Starkist has been owned by South Korea-based Dongwon Industries since 2008. It employs about 2,630 people and generates more than $24 million in revenue, according to Zippia.
Virginia awarded $135.8 million worth of grants to support state and local criminal justice programs, primarily to support those who have been the victims of a crime, Gov. Ralph Northam announced late Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 63% of the funding, $85.5 million, will be used to provide services for victims. Many organizations receiving money provide direct services for traditionally underserved populations and for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Each of these grant recipients play an important role in keeping our communities safe and supporting victims and survivors of crime,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will sustain the operations of a variety of critical programs and help expand the reach of services to underserved areas of the Commonwealth.”
Some Virginia universities have eased their mask mandates for those who have been fully vaccinated to follow more closely with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Universities that officially made mask changes for vaccinated people include the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University.
“Based on the advice of University medical experts, we are pleased to inform you that the University will follow the advice of the CDC and the Governor and update our policy so that UVA community members who are fully vaccinated can now safely forego masks both indoors and outdoors,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in a statement with other university leaders.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar rented a Virginia home from NBC host Chuck Todd, who never disclosed the relationship during his many interviews with the Minnesota politician.
That’s according to a Thursday report from Breitbart editor Alex Marlow, who discusses the relationship in his new book, “Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruptions.”
Marlow states that Klobuchar and her husband, attorney John Bessler, began renting an Arlington, Va., home from Todd in 2008, shortly into her first term as a U.S. senator. Monthly rent for the three-bedroom house was $3,200, earning Todd $38,400 annually.
To offset learning losses caused by the shutdown of in-person public education, Virginia will be spending more than $60 million in recovery grants for public schools, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.
After public schools in the commonwealth were completely shut down for in-person classes for a period of time, the governor implemented restrictions that required hybrid teaching models that included both virtual and in-person learning for months. Since those guidelines have been lifted, some schools have returned to fully in-person education, while some are still using a hybrid model.
To minimize the learning gaps caused by the closures, the state will provide $62.7 million in LEARNS Education Recovery grants. About $55 million of the funding will come from federal relief and the remaining $7.7 million will come from state funds.
The federal government will award the Commonwealth of Virginia and local governments money related to the costs of damages from winter storms in mid-February, President Joe Biden announced.
Biden declared a major disaster for severe weather storms that happened between Feb. 11 and Feb. 13. Federal assistance will be available for the state, tribal and local recovery efforts related to the storms.
Funding is also available to some private nonprofits for the cost of emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities.
State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) is the first of the GOP candidates to concede the gubernatorial contest to Pete Snyder by means of fusillade, threatening a third-party run due to “clear corruption” should the election go Snyder’s way.
Clearly there is a great deal of anger here. And perhaps a confession of sorts that Chase knew she wasn’t going into this convention with either strength or confidence in her ability to turn out.
But it’s not the anger of someone who had something stolen from them. This tweet alone is a violation of the RPV Party Plan. This is someone who refuses to accept any outcome other than the one that anoints them as a victor — Republicans don’t behave like Democrats.
What the heck is going on with the Virginia Department of Education?
A little over a week ago reports surfaced that the state would be doing away with advanced math classes for all grades except 11 and 12.
But then reports came out noting the state’s education chief disputed those reports, saying “absolutely acceleration is not going away in mathematics courses.”
Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam amended a previous executive order to ease up on COVID-19 restrictions, effective on April 1, allowing up to 50 people to gather for indoor events and up to 100 people to gather for outdoor events. However, Virginia Polytechnic Institute announced it would not follow these guidelines but maintain previous restrictions that limit indoor gathering to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 50 people.
Alyssa Jones, president of the Turning Point USA chapter at Virginia Tech, contacted her school following Northam’s announcement that he would ease COVID-19 restrictions.
In a March 23 email obtained by Campus Reform, Student Engagement and Campus Life told Jones that “after April 1st groups are permitted to have up to 50 people in attendance for indoor events.”
U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced federal gun control legislation Thursday to mirror some of the laws that recently passed their home state of Virginia.
The policies include expanding background checks, limiting handgun purchases and enacting red flag laws at a national level. The senators are calling the legislation the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act.
“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”
Virginia will distribute $270,000 in farmland preservation grants to five localities, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced this week.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reminded how important Virginia’s farms are to getting food into our stores and onto our tables,” Northam said in a statement. “In addition to being a vital part of our history, agriculture is central to our growing economy and maintaining the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in our Commonwealth. Partnering with local governments to preserve critical working landscapes and protect our abundant natural resources is key to maximizing the conservation impact of state funds.”
The commonwealth will use the Purchase of Development Rights programs to match local government funding to permanently preserve farmland. The program gives incentives to landowners who protect their working lands and it lets localities limit development on priority farm and forest land.
An equestrian center is suing Fairfax County over a dispute about whether the center should be deemed agricultural in nature and therefore exempt from certain regulations.
Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, is providing the center with legal representation. Petersen is the chair of the senate’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Virginia law prohibits local governments from interfering with farming activities on land zoned as agricultural. Yet, the county is trying to subject the Harmony Hills Equestrian Center to urban code requirements and ordinary commercial property requirements because it does not consider the center to be a farm.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed 18 amendments to the budget legislation passed by the General Assembly, which includes giving the executive branch more authority to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also propose three language amendments to ensure our ability to continue responding to needs related to the COVID pandemic by giving agencies the flexibility to respond and the authority to address the opportunities presented by the federal funding such as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), until we can address the matter fully at a special session,” Northam said in a letter to the House of Delegates.
One amendment to the budget would grant the director of the Department of Planning and Budget the authority to direct the additional Medicaid revenue from the recent federal stimulus plan to current services. Another would grant the superintendent of public instruction the authority to issue temporary flexibility or waivers for deadlines and requirements that cannot be met because of the COVID-19 state of emergency and school closures.
The Republican Party of Virginia announced Friday that the filing deadline had passed for the 2021 Republican Party of Virginia unassembled convention, creating a scramble for the wide open Governor’s race. The unassembled convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, with over 30 polling locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the Republican Party of Virginia, all but two announced candidates for Governor filed for and paid their filing fee.
The following candidates have properly filed with the Republican Party of Virginia and will appear on the Republican Party of Virginia 2021 Statewide unassembled convention ballot.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is directing $20.1 million in grants for 11 projects in the commonwealth to strengthen broadband infrastructure, his office announced Thursday.
The projects are designed to increase broadband connectivity throughout 17 localities. The projects will connect more than 13,400 establishments, which will include households, businesses and anchor institutions and is leveraging $18.8 million in private and local investments.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
Democratic Virginia Delegate David Reid has introduced legislation, passed by the House of Delegates, which would require some public universities to provide reparations to ancestors of slaves who worked at the universities.
The legislation, ”Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program,” now awaits a vote in the state senate.
It would require a number of universities to provide reparations. Those universities include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute and the College of William and Mary.
Appalachian Power, the second largest electric utility in Virginia, is seeking an 11% increase in rates paid by consumers residing in the commonwealth to pay for electric transmission costs.
If approved, Appalachian Power would increase the Transmission Rate Adjustment Clause from $225.1 million to $337.7 million, which is a $112.6 million increase. It would increase the monthly bill for a customer by $11.52 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours. It would go into effect in July 2021.
Virginia will award $2.6 million in grants to help prevent evictions in highly needed areas, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
Funding will help build capacity and implement eviction prevention and diversion programs created to address underlying causes of eviction. Money will go to the 14 localities the state identified as having the highest eviction rates. The grants will be awarded through a new pilot program called the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Program.
So the unassembled convention where we would have as many gatherings as unit committees fell through…
Legislation that would prohibit most people from possessing guns near a polling place passed the Virginia Senate on Thursday and is heading to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk for his signature.
If signed into law, House Bill 2081, sponsored by Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, would prohibit knowingly possessing firearms within 40 feet of the locations beginning one hour before polls are open and an hour after they close. Violation would be a Class 1 misdemeanor if convicted, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2,500 or both.
The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates passed their own versions of legislation that would guarantee in-state tuition for illegal immigrants residing in the state this week.
Under both bills, a person would be allowed to receive in-state tuition for public colleges and universities as long as the person meets all other necessary criteria, regardless of whether the person is residing in the country legally. The House version of the bill will be sent to the Senate and the Senate version to the House.
Thanks to reporting delays with 2020 U.S. Census data, the timeline for Virginia’s newly implemented redistricting process and the 2021 elections for all 100 House of Delegates seats could be impacted.
On Wednesday, a Census Bureau official said the redistricting data for states may not arrive until July 30th or afterward.
Virginia’s public gathering limits, daily curfews, face mask requirements and other COVID-19 restrictions will stay in place until the end of February, drawing concern from some members of the business community.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday he issued Executive Order 72, which extends and slightly modifies the state restrictions. Under the new restrictions, face masks will be required in not only indoor settings but also in any outdoor setting when a person cannot remain 6 feet away from other people.
Democratic candidate for governor and Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City) released a plan central to her campaign last Friday that seeks to provide affordable and quality child care for every family with a kid under the age of five by 2025.
Under McClellan’s Universal Child Care & Early Learning Plan, Virginia families that make below or up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level would receive free child care, no matter the family size. While families making above that poverty threshold would have to pay for child care costs, but no more than 7 percent of their annual income.
Legislation to abolish the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Virginia was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning.
Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), Senate Bill 1165 was reported out of the committee by a vote of 10-4, mostly along party lines with Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County), chief co-patron on the measure, the only Republican who voted in support.
Virginia man who was arrested at a police checkpoint in Washington D.C. over the weekend, has been released from custody following a brief court appearance.
Although initial news reports hyped the story, investigators said they do not consider Wesley Beeler, a security contractor who was working in the area, to be a threat to public safety.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced on Thursday that it is expanding its partnership with Walgreens to offer Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen COVID-19 testing for free at specific locations throughout the Commonwealth, according to a press release from the agency.
Before the expanded agreement only four Walgreens in the state were providing the drive-through tests, but now that number has increased to 15 select locations, the release said.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has expanded the eligibility for Phase 1b of the state’s vaccination effort to include people 65 and up as well as those between the ages of 16 to 64 who have high-risk medical conditions, he announced during a COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday.
“This means about half of Virginia is now eligible to receive the vaccine,” the governor said. “That’s a major logistical effort and it is not going to happen overnight. Everyone will need to be patient; it’s going to happen as fast as it can be done.”
Virginia’s state senate had a narrow Democratic majority, with 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Then, on Jan. 1, Republican State Senator Ben Chafin died. Virginia’s Democratic governor deliberately delayed filling the seat, so that progressive bills will be able to pass the state legislature more easily, and without being moderated by the amendment process.
With mass vaccination efforts now a month in, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has released a new online tool to help Virginians determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine under the state’s multi-phase plan and when they can get it.
Completing the process is relatively simple and should not take more than 5 minutes maximum. Here is a step-by-step rundown
State health facilities operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) were tipped off with advance knowledge on unannounced COVID-19 protocol inspections, according to a report from the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) released last Thursday.
The report claimed that DBHDS personnel shared detailed information regarding inspections with as many as 11 facilities throughout the Commonwealth.
A selection committee of five retired judges on Wednesday chose the eight citizens who will serve on the Virginia Redistricting Commission, completing the membership determination process for the newly-implemented body tasked with proposing plans for redrawing the Commonwealth’s 111 congressional and legislative districts.
The judges met for several hours on Wednesday morning and had to come up with the eight names from a pool of 62 finalists.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has appointed Dr. Danny Avula, director of the Richmond City and Henrico County health departments, to lead the Commonwealth’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program.
Northam made the announcement during a coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, the first time he has provided updates on the virus to the public in the new year.
GOP candidate for governor and Virginia State Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) reportedly said Tuesday he does not stand with Republicans in Congress who plan to object to the Electoral College votes and that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.
Cox’s reported comments were shared by Daniel Grimes, a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC29 in Charlottesville, in a post on Twitter.
The new year is here at last and for Virginians throughout the Commonwealth, the arrival of 2021 means a number of laws passed by the General Assembly last year have now gone into effect and bring several important changes.
Here is an overview of some new laws that Virginians should know about.
Coronavirus vaccination efforts by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have been ongoing since December 15, but the number of administered doses is significantly less than the amount distributed throughout the Commonwealth.
According to the COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, as of Thursday, Virginia has distributed 388,100 doses, but only 64,882 have actually been administered so far.
The application window for citizens to apply for the Virginia Redistricting Commission closed on Monday and a final tally from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) showed that 1,238 Virginians are interested in serving on the extremely important and influential panel.
Just two weeks ago, however, only 88 citizens had applied for the commission since November 30 and Virginia Division of Legislative Services (DLS) Director Amigo Wade said they received 600-650 applications during the final days before the deadline.
With the release of the Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) document, Richmond can now begin accepting submissions from established operators to build a resort casino in Virginia’s capital city.
Monday’s release of the RFQ/P marks the official start of the months-long competitive process to potentially bring a resort casino to Richmond in the coming years. The document outlines what the city expects from a proposal.
The debate over whether or not businesses should be required to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave will again be taken up by the Virginia General Assembly when it convenes for its regular session on January 13th.
After multiple bills calling for paid sick leave were killed by a Senate committee during this past summer’s special session, those same lawmakers are once again intending to offer legislation on the issue.
Christmas Day has finally arrived and although many people’s plans may look quite different this year, there is one thing about the holiday season that can never be changed: catchy, calming and irresistible Christmas songs.
Whether a person listens to Christmas music all 365 days of the year or only starts once winter has set in, almost everybody has a favorite jingle that inevitably gets played more often around the holidays.
If you’re anything like us, there’s somebody on your Christmas list who you still need to buy a gift for. The Virginia Star spoke with local businesses across the state to see what their most popular gifts were. Here’s what they told us…
Roughly 140,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Virginia on Wednesday after the state had initially placed an order with the company last week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said in a news release.
Shipments of Moderna’s vaccine, approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, as well as Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine are being delivered to healthcare facilities and health departments across the Commonwealth this week. The two vaccines are going to 96 “geographically diverse locations” in the state, according to the release.