2017-03-01: WT: Thousands of noncitizens lurking on Virginia's voter rolls, by R. Scarborough
When Virginia Delegate Robert Marshall asked the state's 133 local governments to provide numbers on noncitizens and jury pools, Loudoun County produced some hefty figures. Between 2009 and 2014, the county of more than 350,000 residents had disqualified more than 9,000 of them for jury duty because they were not U.S. citizens. ...
2017-03-01: Daily Caller: SCOTUS Hands Dems a Win in Redistricting Battle, by Kevin Daley
The case concerned 12 state legislative districts drawn by the GOP-controlled legislature in Virginia, in connection with the redistricting process begun after the 2010 census. A lower court concluded that 1 of the 12 districts challenged in this case had been racially gerrymandered.
2017-02-05: Times Dispatch: Why the Virginia college enrollment decline?, by Karin Kapsidelis
Where have all the high school seniors gone? Total enrollment at the state's public and private colleges and universities dropped this academic year -- a loss that came despite an increase in the pool of high school seniors who could have filled those seats.
2017-02-01: Governor: Nestlé USA to Relocate HQ from California to Arlington County
Company to invest almost $40 million and create 748 new jobs.
2016-12-16: CFACT: Property owners to Dominion: Pipeline YES, eminent domain NO
Representatives of energy giant Dominion Resources were caught off guard this week by Virginia landowners outraged over the company's threatened use of eminent domain in the construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
2016-11-06: Daily Caller: Gov. McAuliffe uses autopen to pardon 60,000 felons, by Luke Rosiak
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted voting rights to as many as 60,000 convicted felons just in time for them to register to vote, nearly five times more than previously reported and enough to win the state for his long-time friend, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
2016-10-28: ODU Report: Virginia's Economy STILL Sluggish, by Brendan O'Hallarn
In the second annual State of the Commonwealth report, Old Dominion University researchers will show how sluggish Virginia's economy is, how its transportation infrastructure is under stress and how the commonwealth would be better off if communities worked more effectively together. Te report's authors predict Virginia's GDP will grow at a rate of less than 2 percent in 2016.
2016-10-17: WT: Nevada endorses Educational Savings Accounts -- Why not in Virginia?
Last week the Nevada Supreme Court upheld the legitimacy of Education Savings Accounts. Nevada's decision is the latest to reject constitutional Blaine Amendments and uniformity clauses as potential legal barriers to expanding educational options for children -- the two challenges faced in most other states in school-choice litigation.
2016-10-14: NV Daily: Shenandoah supervisors REJECT more local taxing power -- Imagine THAT!
Shenandoah County leaders won't back an effort to ask state legislators to give localities equal power to tax meals. (State code allows cities and towns to impose a meals tax without holding a voter referendum. However, counties must hold a referendum to gauge voter support for the levy.)
2016-10-11: ACTA: Virginia GA being lobbied to allow Meals, Tobacco Taxes without referendum
"VACo supports granting counties the authority to adopt a local meals tax without referendum. VACo proposes the county meals tax rate be raised to a cap of eight percent, which is consistent with current rates used by cities and towns. VACo also supports equal authority among all counties to levy and collect a tobacco tax." -- Virginia Association of Counties
2016-10-06: ACTA: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Earns a 'D' for 2015 -- Cato
The Cato Institute released their 13th biennial fiscal report card on America's governors yesterday. In the new "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors," Cato scholar Chris Edwards examines the tax and spending decisions made by U.S. governors since 2014.
2016-10-02: Breitbart: Illegal Foreign Voting in Virginia Covered Up, by Neil McCabe
"Virginia election officials don't seem to care that thousands of [foreign] aliens have corrupted their voter rolls," by illegally registering to vote, said J. Christian Adams, the former Department of Justice lawyer, and now the president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. "Even worse than doing nothing about it, they are trying to cover it up."
2016-09-29: Times Dispatch: 20 dead voters just registered in Harrisonburg, by Graham Moomaw
Harrisonburg officials and the FBI are investigating allegations of voter registration fraud after officials say almost 20 voter applications were turned in under the names of dead people. The applications were submitted by a student working for 'HarrisonburgVOTES'.
2016-09-26: Daily Signal: Hundreds of Noncitizens on Virginia Voting Rolls, by Fred Lucas
Watchdog groups have pushed local election officials in seven Virginia jurisdictions to reveal hundreds of noncitizens who are registered to vote. So far, they have found more than 550. But these groups say the Virginia State Board of Elections has resisted release of information on ineligible voters.
2016-09-19: Bacon's Rebellion: Virginia Welfare Trends
2016-09-14: Sun Gazette: The wrong way to improve SOL scores -- Editorial
A long-ago episode of "The Simpsons" saw the principal of Springfield Elementary School send underachieving students on a long bus ride just as standardized testing was being conducted at the school. What better way to improve average scores, he reasoned, than eliminate the low-scorers? A similar incident was recorded at a Virginia school.
2016-09-08: Conservative Review: Voter fraud alive and well in Virginia, by H. von Spakovsky
Election integrity foes tell us voter fraud is a myth. So when legitimate voter fraud is actually discovered, these foes pretend it didn't happen, fail to take steps to investigate or prosecute such cases, or try to cover it up. Take Virginia, where the State Board of Elections and some local election officials want to hide a blatant case of voter fraud involving noncitizens.
2016-08-31: WT: GOP lawmakers file contempt motion over felon voting rights, by Andrea Noble
"The practical effect of Governor McAuliffe's August 22 decision to issue over 200,000 individual restoration orders is precisely the same: his newly announced process will effectively suspend Virginia's general constitutional prohibition against felon voting for over 200,000 felons," the motion reads.
2016-08-26: AP: McAuliffe: 'Tough decisions ahead' as $1.5B shortfall looms, by Alanna Richer
RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Terry McAuliffe warned Virginia lawmakers Friday to brace for "tough decisions ahead" to address a roughly $1.5 billion budget shortfall driven largely by lower-than-expected income and sales tax collections.
2016-08-22: ACTA: Is Virginia Prepared for the Next Recession?
"Based on its business cycle characteristics, Virginia would need $1.15 billion to make it through a recession of average severity if the state decided to rely on its combined rainy day fund and general fund balances rather than cutting spending or raising tax rates." -- Report by GMU's Mercatus Center
2016-08-18: Patch: Where Are The Top Teacher Salaries in Virginia?, by Greg Hambrick
2016-07-22: Wapo: Va. high court invalidates McAuliffe's en masse felon voting rights order
In a 4-to-3 decision, the state Supreme Court court agreed with state Republicans who challenged McAuliffe's order, arguing that the governor can only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis and not en masse.
2016-07-18: Times Dispatch: Richmond DJ is the ambassador for Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh
A short-lived phenomenon, the golden age of Pop Yeh Yeh in the 1960s might have been lost to history had it not been for Richmond DJ Carl Hamm, who has made it his mission to curate and preserve this culture's legacy and share it with music lovers all over the world.
2016-07-12: Bacon's Rebellion: The Seven Percent Assumption [by VRS on Investments]
The future 35 years of investment returns will not match that of the previous 35 years, one of the great bull market eras of U.S. financial history. Therefore, the VRS (and other all pension funds) are reckless to assume that recent history will be any guide at all to future performance.
2016-06-27: WT: McDonnell's bribery conviction overturned by Supreme Court, by Ryan McDermott
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was cleared of corruption charges Monday in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court. Justices Roberts and Breyer suggested that the bribery law could be considered unconstitutionally vague, and thus a recipe for giving the Justice Dept and their prosecutors enormous power over elected officials.
2016-06-17: WND: Obamatrade cost Randy Forbes his job, by Curtis Ellis
The populist uprising against phony "free trade" has taken its first scalp. Rep. Randy Forbes, GOP establishment stalwart and longtime Obamatrade supporter from Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, will soon be unemployed. Voters rejected him in favor of his primary opponent Scott Taylor, former Navy SEAL, who stridently opposed Obamatrade.
2016-06-08: WT: Gloucester Co to appeal transgender bathroom ruling, by Brad Richardson
The school board of Gloucester County, Virginia, has announced that it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court whether federal law requires schools to allow restroom and locker room access on the basis of gender identity. Its current policy was struck down in April by the Richmond-based U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
2016-06-03: Examiner: Terry McAuliffe's latest scandal just the tip of the iceberg
Money and political power, coming together in business deals involving some of the world's most corrupt people. The latest investigation into Terry McAuliffe proves the Clinton '90s never really ended.
2016-05-xx: FCTA: Democrat and Republican local web sites in Virginia, by David Swink
2016-05-31: AP: Court costs can be crippling for low-income drivers, by Larry O'Dell
Catch 22: Poor Virginia drivers get speeding tickets ... can't pay monthly payment plus court costs ... lose drivers' license ... now unemployed and unable to legally drive anywhere to apply for jobs ... debts continue to mount.
2016-05-01: Common 2015 Tax Forms: 760,760Instr...1040,1040Instr,1040A,SchA,SchB,SchD,SchE
2016-04-22: WaPo: Gov. McAuliffe restores voting rights for 206K ex-felons; gift to Hillary
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will make all ex-felons in Virginia eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Many Republicans viewed McAuliffe's action as a blatant favor to his longtime friend Hillary Clinton, for whom he and his wife recently raised $2 million at their McLean home.
2016-04-19: WT: 4th Circuit sanctions transgender bathroom use, by Brad Richardson
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a Virginia case that public school students have a right to use the facilities of their self-identified gender. The 2-1 decision overturned a U.S. district court decision that Title IX bans discrimination according to "sex", the word used in the law. Neither the word "gender" nor the term "gender identity" appears in the 37-word law.
2016-03-24: Bearing Drift: Terry McAuliffe vetoes voter fraud bill
The Democratic governor vetoed legislation patroned by Delegate Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) requiring voter registration forms to ask applicants for their social security number, their citizenship status, and whether they are ineligible to vote for other reasons, such as a felony conviction. And since Democrats encourage voter fraud, the veto is unlikely to be overridden.
2016-03-15: Truth In Accounting: Financial state of Virginia -- Ranks 15th in 2015
Virginia has only $35.1 billion of assets available to pay bills totaling $39.2 billion. To fill the $4.2 billion financial hole, each Virginia taxpayer would have to send $1,500 to the state. The commonwealth's reported pension debt grew from $3.3 billion in 2014 to $6.8 billion in 2015. The commonwealth is still hiding $361.7 million of pension debt from taxpayers.
2016-03-11: AP: Virginia's 2016 legislative session ends, by Alan Suderman
The session ended Friday evening after lawmakers passed a $100 billion two-year spending plan that does not include any new taxes or increased fees. The new budget includes about $900 million more in K-12 spending in the next two years than the last biennial budget did.
2016-03-10: Richmond Sunlight: 2016 bills put before the Virginia General Assembly
2016-03-10: Cville Tomorrow: New proffer era has begun for Virginia localities, Sean Tubbs
Virginia counties had formalized a cash policy proffer system that established specific amounts all developers would pay per unit to help offset the impact each rezoning would have on school population, area roads and other government services. Legislation signed this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe will change all that.
2016-03-08: Bacon's Rebellion: Va Property Taxes -- Not as Bad as Jersey but Worse than D.C.
Virginia has the 14th highest property tax burden among the 50 states (and Washington, D.C.) The real estate tax rate is modest (16th lowest) but it combines with relatively high median housing prices (11th highest) to create the 23rd highest average tax on the median-value house.
2016-03-03: Watchdog.org: Virginia nonprofit hospitals doing well without Medicaid expansion
Virginia's nonprofit hospitals are taking in revenue far in excess of their expenses, with 88 percent turning the nonprofit equivalent of a profit, without Medicaid expansion in the state. Revenue averaged $30 million more than expenses. (Republicans in the General Assembly again refused to include Obamacare expansion in their latest budget.)
2016-02-19: AP: Virginia lawmakers subsidized by lobbyists - legally, by Alan Suderman
Behavior that would get lawmakers locked up in other states or at the federal level is perfectly fine in the Old Dominion. Virginia is the only state where lawmakers can raise unlimited campaign donations from anyone, including corporations and unions, and spend the money on themselves.
2016-02-14: Watchdog.org: Va. hospitals cry poor in effort to keep anti-competitive regs
The Virginia House of Delegates could vote Monday to pass major reforms to the state's Certificate of Public Need licensing rules. Critics say the COPN is a cartel-like scheme that helps hospitals protect their bottom lines at the expense of consumers and competition.
2016-01-28: AP: McAuliffe, Republicans to announce deal on guns, by Suderman & Richer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican lawmakers have reached a deal that strengthens some gun control measures while reversing a policy that would have invalidated concealed handgun permits in Virginia held by residents of 25 other states.
2016-01-27: AP: Court to rule on transgender bathroom issue, by Larry O'Dell
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Public schools and courts across the country will be closely watching a Virginia case for guidance on restroom policies about gender and gender identity, now before a Richmond-based federal appeals court. Gavin Grimm, 16, is challenging a policy that bars [her] from using the boys' restrooms at Gloucester High School.
2016-01-27: Cooper Center: 2015 Population Estimates for Virginia and its Counties & Cities
2016-01-21: Bacon's Rebellion: Is Virginia Ready for Car Tax Reform?, by Bill Tracy
Due to high local car taxes, many Virginians have learned to be modest in their new car selections, or they purchase used cars instead. As a consequence, we are throttling new car sales. In addition, the tax functions as a de facto green car penalty.
2016-01-12: FCTA: I-66 Tolling Plan Inside Beltway Wrong, by Rob Whitfield prior to Va-GA
The proposed I 66 tolling plan for Inside the Capital Beltway (ITCB) is wrong both as a matter of principle and as a misuse of our principal.
2016-01-11: FCTA: Reinstate Runoff Elections in Virginia, by David Swink to Va-GA senator
Va. Senator Carrico's SB 742, a 2015 bill to reinstate runoff elections in Virginia, was meant to prevent winning without a majority of the vote, as happened with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner. The bill failed to make it through both houses. So this email simply asked Sen. Carrico to please try again.
2016-01-09: FCTA: Alternative to Medicaid Expansion, by Arthur Purves to Fx Va-GA delegation
Medicaid expansion has good intentions, as do the other War on Poverty programs. But these programs have utterly failed. Poverty has won. And the biggest problem is the collapse of marriage.
2016-01-08: CFACT: Virginia land barons terrorize Fauquier farmer, by Bonner Cohen
The list of transgressions against Martha Boneta is endless, causing countless hours of time away from farming, lost business, hardship and duress. One is struck by the brazen attempt by the well-connected and well-to-do to use their outsized local influence to crush a local farmer.
2016-01-08: Fx Free Citizen: Medicaid Expansion: Where Will It End?, by Nancy Piotter
Governor Terry McAuliffe is attempting once again to expand Medicaid in his record-breaking $109 billion biennial budget released on December 17. But by defeating pro-expansion candidates backed by McAuliffe last November, Virginia voters clearly signaled opposition to Medicaid expansion because it is an expensive, inefficient, and broken program.
2016-01-07: FCTA: General Assembly townhall meeting in Reston, by Charles McAndrew
The minutes of the two-hour townhall meeting in Reston. Delegate Ken Plum and Senator Janet Howell spoke about issues of concern to them, including Gun Control, Education, Medicaid, Mental Health Problems, Cigarette tax, Tire rubber on school playing fields, Climate change, and Transportation. (Welcome to LIBERAL LAND.)
2016-01-06: HB389: Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts, introduced by Del Dave LaRock
Allows Virginia parents 90%-level educational funding to apply toward their child's education in a school of their choice, as certified by the state.
2015-12-22: WT: Virginia halts concealed carry reciprocity with 25 states, by Kellan Howell
Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Tuesday the commonwealth will no longer recognize concealed carry handgun permit reciprocity agreements from 25 states that have regulations weaker than Virginia's: AK, AZ, AR, DE, FL, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MT, NE, NM, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, WA, WI and WY. Agreements will remain with MI, OK, TX, UT and WV.
2015-12-20: FCTA: The hidden cost of Medicaid "expansion", by Bill Peabody & Lou Dileonardo
Medicaid expansion funding is best described as the gift of a baby elephant. If you accept it, you must feed it, and as it grows it will eat more and more.
2015-12-18: Examiner: Allah prayer gets classes canceled for Augusta Co. schools, by J. Lott
Teacher Cheryl LaPorte was educating her students about the development of calligraphy. She had them practice by copying out the Shahada from Arabic -- "There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." When parents found out about it, outrage followed, causing officials to shutter an entire Shenandoah Valley school district this Friday.
2015-11-26: Watchdog.org: Va's restrictive health care regs under scrutiny, by Eric Boehm
Dr. Mark Baumel runs successful clinics in other states, treating patients and giving potentially life-saving colon cancer screenings, using a CT scanner instead of requiring a probe up the tail-pipe. But before he can buy CT scanners, under Virginia's COPN laws, he needs a "permission slip" from the state health commissioner.
2015-11-24: AP: Virginia to extend I-95 Express Lanes in both directions, by Matthew Barakat
Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that I-95 Express Lanes will be extended about two miles on their southern end in Stafford County. On the northern end, the I-395 Express Lanes will be extended all the way to the border with the District of Columbia. (The state had wanted to do that in the first place, but was stymied by opposition from Arlington County.)
2015-11-18: WT: Roanoke mayor's Syrian refugee stance irks Hillary's campaign
Roanoke Mayor David Bowers has been asked to step down from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's leadership team in Virginia for voicing his support for halting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. by apparently endorsing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
2015-10-23: WT: Bloomberg aims anti-gun barrel at Virginia elections, by Deborah Simmons
A Michael Bloomberg Gun Safety nonprofit group has announced plans to spend $700,000 on one election in Virginia -- a state Senate race in the Richmond area that could easily deliver control of the chamber into the hands of the Democratic Party. Everytown said it will spend another $1.1 million to influence Virginia's November elections.
2015-09-16: Stat Chat: Virginians leaving the Commonwealth, reversing trends, by H. Lombard
During the decades since WWII, Virginia's population has been one of the fastest growing among states on the east coast. However, IRS migration data for 2012 and 2013 shows that this trend may have come to an end. Virginia had over 3,000 more households leave the state in 2013 than moved in. Virginia's economic growth in 2014 was the third slowest nationally.
2015-08-24: Bacon's Rebellion: More Sequestration Pain for Virginia
The pain of federal budget sequestration cuts in Virginia is not yet over. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia says: "If we have the return of sequestration, it's going to be even worse than it was a couple of years ago, because every agency, particularly the Defense Department, has cleared out most of their coffers."
2015-08-16: WT: Virginia lawmakers convene to redraw congressional map, by David Sherfinski
Virginia lawmakers return Monday to Richmond for a special session to redraw the state's current congressional map, facing a Sept. 1 deadline after a federal court ruling they illegally packed black voters into Rep. Bobby Scott's southeastern district.
2015-08-01: Times Dispatch: 'Go Virginia' - with caution -- OpEd
The bigger question for the general public is whether Go Virginia will produce truly innovative approaches to growing the state's economy, or whether it will end up looking like more corporate welfare by a different name.
2015-07-26: Breitbart: Mass Migration Turning Virginia Blue -- the new California
Virginia, once one of the most reliably-red of red states, is being rapidly turned into a progressive stronghold. These changes are the result of the federal government printing millions of visas and distributing these admission tickets to the poorest and least-developed nations in the world.
2015-07-03: Watchdog.org: Virginia's public university leaders get big pay packages
As tuition continues to climb and the percentage of full-time professors on campuses continues to drop nationwide, the presidents at Virginia's colleges and universities are seeing more and more generous compensation packages.
2015-06-26: AP: With Terry McAuliffe in office, old friends find new opportunities
After Terry McAuliffe took office as Virginia's governor in early 2014, some of his friends -- who had never lobbied in Virginia before -- started registering as lobbyists, with several companies interested in contracting with the state.
2015-06-24: WT: Virginia business stagnation raises worry for future, by Brennan Weiss
A group of economists and business leaders gathered this week at George Mason University to discuss the state's suddenly sluggish economy. Virginia's growth in gross domestic product stalled completely in 2014, with neighboring states West Virginia (up 5.5 percent), North Carolina (up 1.4 percent) and Maryland (up 0.8 percent) in positive territory.
2015-06-14: FoxNews: Ballot machines easy targets, including Virginia's WINVote
It used to be a "conspiracy theory" but now the potential for electronic tampering with voting machines is being recognized as a problem. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency issued a report finding that the AVS WINVote machines Virginia has used since 2002 have such flimsy security that an amateur hacker could change votes from outside a polling location.
2015-06-10: WT: Nuclear energy may have big future in Virginia, by Brennan Weiss
Virginia imports over 50 percent of its current power needs. With a projected 4,000 megawatts of additional power needed by Virginia by 2021, the study suggests that just four new nuclear power plants would do the job better than any other alternatives.
2015-06-10: AP: Va. economic growth flat in 2014 -- 2013: 0.4%; 2012: 0.7%; 2011: 0.6%
Forty-seven other states saw growth, led by North Dakota at 6.3 percent. Alaska and Mississippi were the only states whose GDP dropped in 2014. The nationwide growth was 2.2 percent.
2015-06-09: Daily Press: Volcker blasts state budgets, including Virginia's, by Dave Ress
... for "budgeting and accounting practices that obscure their true financial position, shift current costs onto future generations, and push off the need to make hard choices on spending priorities and revenue practices." Virginia voters and taxpayers are not given a clear picture of state finances.
2015-05-27: WT: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe ices talk of state divestment from fossil fuels
... said he would not support having Virginia divest its retirement fund and other accounts from fossil fuel companies, despite his commitment to combatting global warming.
2015-05-06: Watchdog.org: Water war: Va GOP senators blast EPA's 'end-run' rule, by K Ward
Virginia's 21 Republican state senators say a "Waters of the United States" rule targets farmers and could cost the state and landowners untold millions of dollars.
2015-04-17: Watchdog.org: Penalized Va. Express Lanes drivers file class-action lawsuit
A private company is operating many of Virginia's thoroughfares, but that doesn't mean it can charge drivers thousands of dollars in unexpected fines and penalties. That's the gist of a class-action lawsuit filed against toll operators Transurban and Faneuil.
2015-04-06: Watchdog.org: Virginia ranked No. 40 in tax freedom, by Kathryn Watson
"You often hear how Virginia is a low-tax state, but that's not really the case." ... "When you add up the individual and corporate income taxes, the commonwealth's "very high" unemployment insurance taxes, the Business Professional and Occupational Licensing tax, sales taxes, car taxes and home property taxes, it's a pretty cumbersome bill."
2015-04-01: Watchdog.org: Gov. McAuliffe vetoes sunshine law for state-hired lawyers
Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have made all legal contracts the state makes with outside special counsel available online for the public and capped payments to outside lawyers, saying that would "needlessly impose harmful restrictions on the ability of the commonwealth to secure specialized legal services and prosecute its cases."
2015-04-01: Watchdog.org: EPA carbon plan will kill 38,000 Virginia jobs, report says
... and will boost Virginia's electric rates 25 percent. "This (report) is exactly what we've been saying. (The air rules) will be a lot more expensive than the EPA is willing to admit," U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith told Watchdog.org in a phone interview.
2015-03-30: Watchdog.org: McAuliffe veto opens polls for Hillary Clinton 'ghost voters'
Plowing the ground for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed an election-reform bill that leaves a gaping hole for absentee-ballot abuse in Virginia.
2015-03-17: Watchdog.org: McAuliffe's choice: Fair or flawed elections, by Kenric Ward
Republicans are challenging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to sign three election-integrity bills: 1. HB 2379, requiring crosscheck of voter registrations; 2. HB 1315, requiring access to jury excusal forms; 3. HB 1318, requiring photo ID to obtain an absentee ballot.
2015-03-16: Ars Technica: Virginia passes 7-day limit on keeping license plate reader data
Virginia has become the first state in America to impose a very short data retention limit on the use of automated license plate readers (LPRs, or ALPRs). VA cops will now only be able to keep such data for seven days unless there is an active, ongoing criminal investigation.
2015-03-12: Times Dispatch: State revenues rise 21.7 percent in February from a year ago
...fueled largely by a reduction of almost $87 million in taxpayer refunds and an increase in income taxes withheld from payroll. Tax collections grew 6.6 percent from the beginning of the fiscal year that began July 1 through the end of February.
2015-03-11: Watchdog.org: Without accountability, some local Virginia boards go AWOL
The Virginia General Assembly has done nothing to demand audit reports and general oversight for the roughly 700-or-so supervisory bodies, bodies such as jail authorities and library boards that controlled a total of $450 million in revenue as of 1999.
2015-03-02: Watchdog.org: Runoff elections ensure majority rule -- so why not in Virginia?
If Virginia had maintained its long-held system for runoff elections, it's entirely plausible that McAuliffe and Warner would not be in office today. Runoffs between the top two vote-getters prevents candidates from triangulating their way to victory with mere pluralities. Mysteriously, SB 742 passed in the Senate, but never got to the floor of the House, where Republicans hold a super majority.
2015-02-28: Watchdog.org: Virginia Senate surrenders in war on coal, by Kenric Ward
Bowing to the EPA, the state Senate reversed course and killed a bill that would have required General Assembly review of stricter carbon emission rules. The defeat of Senate Bill 1365 in the waning hours of the 2015 legislative session will result in a predicted "backdoor rate increase" for Virginia electric consumers.
2015-02-18: Watchdog.org: Virginia revenue windfall soaks taxpayers, by Kenric Ward
State tax collections are running "well ahead" of projections, so Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to raise public-sector pay. Others ask: Why not give the millions back to taxpayers -- or least cut them a break by adjusting Virginia's antiquated income-tax brackets for inflation?
2015-02-17: Watchdog.org: Virginia House bills put roads over rails, by Kenric Ward
Northern Virginia rail ventures — will face a steeper climb if state lawmakers approve House Bill 1470. Delegate Dave LaRock's measure makes "congestion reduction" the primary goal of any transit projects funded by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Currently, mass transit is exempt from the requirement.
2015-02-13: Watchdog.org: Speeding bill is road kill in Virginia, by Kenric Ward
Delegate Jeffrey Campbell, R-Marion, tried to revise the "reckless driving" threshold, which was not changed when the state raised its highway speed limits years ago, but his House Bill 1317 never made it out of the Courts of Justice Committee. So drivers can still be fined $2,500 for driving a mere 11 mph over the interstate posted speed limit.
2015-02-09: WT: Senate bill calls for runoff vote in close elections, by David Sherfinski
The measure would ensure that elected officials receive majority support, and comes after elections in 2013 and 2014 in which several Democratic candidates, including Sen. Mark Warner, were elected to office with less than the majority of the vote. It passed on a 22-16 vote. (See related article.)
2015-02-09: Watchdog.org: 'Sneak and peek' bills trigger 4th Amendment backlash, by K Ward
Watchdog.org's report on controversial "sneak and peek" legislation approved by the Virginia House and Senate is triggering a backlash from civil-liberties activists -- and buyer's remorse from some lawmakers, especially state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) and Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).
2015-02-05: Fx Free Citizen: State Healthcare Exchange Bill Fails, by Donna Hamilton
SB 1363, a bill to create a state healthcare exchange, was narrowly defeated Monday by a 7-6 vote in the Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. Voting against the bill were Senators Wagner, Newman, Obenshain, Stuart, Stanley, Cosgrove, and Chafin. Those in favor were Senators Watkins, Colgan, Saslaw, McWaters, Alexander, and Dance.
2015-02-05: Fredericksburg.com: Stimpson vows to control state spending -- vs Speaker Howell
"We have a spending problem in Richmond, not a revenue problem. In fact, since Bill Howell has been speaker, Virginia’s budget growth has far outpaced population growth and inflation. A budget that was $42 billion in 2001 has more than doubled to $95 billion in 2014."
2015-02-02: WT: Virginia weighs joining Article V convention, by David Sherfinski
National and state GOP leaders are supportive of the idea, saying that a convention of the states is needed to stop an out-of-control federal government, but some conservatives say such a gathering could end up as a free-for-all and risk radically altering the founding document.
2015-02-02: MyFox5DC: E-ZPass Payola to Virginia politicians?, by Emily Miller
Drivers have been hit with tens of thousands of dollars in fines for accidentally missing tolls on their E-ZPass Express Lanes in Virginia. Did lawmakers realize that they signed up for this type of extortion when they signed up with the Transurban partnership? Unlike federal campaign laws, Virginia allows corporations to give directly to candidates.
2015-01-29: Watchdog.org: Virginia bill would bar 'backdoor energy tax', by Kenric Ward
Warning an Obama administration "Clean Power Plan" would sharply increase Virginians’ electric rates, Republican lawmakers want to put themselves between the Environmental Protection Agency and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Targeting both the EPA and the state's Department of Environmental Quality, Senate Bill 1442 would require General Assembly approval of any rules submitted to Washington by the DEQ.
2015-01-28: Watchdog.org: Virginia lawmakers roll over for Mark Herring, by Kenric Ward
Instead of challenging Attorney General Mark Herring's edict that illegal immigrants are entitled to in-state college tuition, self-professed conservatives at the General Assembly look for ways to reimburse the schools. That's how legislative sausage gets made, and why Richmond is behaving more like Washington, D.C., these days.
2015-01-27: CFACT: "Boneta Bill" passed; protects farmers from meddling local officials
Backed by the Virginia Farm Bureau, the new law protects customary activities at agricultural operations from local bans in the absence of substantial impacts on public welfare. It also prohibits localities from requiring a special-use permit for a host of farm-related activities that are specified in the bill. The law takes effect on July 1.
2015-01-24: Fx Free Citizen: Virginia Fourth Amendment -- Guest column by Mark Fitzgibbons
Virginia doesn't have a Fourth Amendment in its Constitution. HJ 578 will give Virginians constitutional protections of their private data and other important types of private property. It will protect our rights and give us security against lawless snooping and spying by state and local government officials.
2015-01-22: Waychdog.org: VA universities spend $128 million on travel, by Kathryn Watson
George Mason University allows employees to buy airline tickets above and beyond $5,000, the state's transaction limit... The University of Virginia allows workers to spend up to $500 a night on hotel rooms at conferences...
2015-01-21: Watchdog.org: GOP defections save in-state tuition for VA migrants, by K Ward
A bill to block Virginia from granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants died on a nearly straight party-line vote in the state Senate Tuesday. The 20-19 defeat effectively ends any legislative attempts to override Attorney General Mark Herring's ruling that illegal immigrants are eligible for discounted in-state college tuition.
2015-01-20: Va. Dept of Human Resource Mgmt's presentation of state employee compensation
This presentation was made by Sara Wilson, director of Virginia's Dept of Human Resource Management. Her presentation was delivered to the Senate Finance Committee (chaired by Sen Walter Stosch), the General Gov't subcommittee (chaired by Sen Jill Vogel), and to the corresponding subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
2015-01-05: Watchdog.org: Amid War on Coal, Virginia falls from leader to laggard, by K Ward
After years of outpacing the nation in economic growth, Virginia is sputtering. Employment is lagging, real estate is flat and the Obama administration's War on Coal isn't helping.
2014-12-29: Watchdog.org: Amendment would pour raw milk into Constitution, by Kenric Ward
The 2015 General Assembly will debate a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to buy homegrown food items at Virginia farms. According to the amendment: "The people shall have the right to acquire for their own consumption farm-produced food directly at the farm with agreement from the farmer who produced it."
2014-12-22: Watchdog.org: Motorist group criticizes Virginia's 'reckless' speeding law
In a hurry this holiday? Beware that Virginia ranks as one of the toughest states on speeders, and police are proud of it. Driving 20 mph over the speed limit classifies as reckless driving in Virginia law. That offense is not a mere traffic citation, but a Class One criminal misdemeanor punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.
2014-12-17: Watchdog.org: Stimpson blasts Virginia's public-private deals, by Kenric Ward
STAFFORD, Va. -- Former Stafford County Supervisor Susan Stimpson will take on House Speaker Bill Howell in the GOP primary, accusing GOP leaders of favoring corporate partnerships at taxpayer expense -- a reference to Virginia's use and alleged misuse of public-private partnerships for road construction.
2014-12-02: Fx Ti404: Time to remove "spoilers" from election process, by FCTA's David Swink
Robert Sarvis’ third-party candidacy in two consecutive Virginia elections has "flipped" the election results. Perhaps Virginia should consider a runoff option similar to Georgia and Louisiana.
2014-11-29: Fx Free Citizen: Yes to 'Convention of States', by Rita Dunaway, COS Project
In Article V, the Founding Fathers provided the people with a way to trump Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. Through our state legislatures, we apply for a Convention of the States to propose amendments that will set the record straight and close the loopholes the Court has opened. If 34 states apply, the Constitution explicitly requires Congress to issue the "call", and then to step back and let the states do their work.
2014-11-19: Va Free Citizen: Virginia School Board Association wants to adopt Common Core ??
Believe it or not, the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) is encouraging the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) to adopt Common Core. Have they not paid any attention to the abundance of states that are trying to get out of Common Core? (Read The "Common Core" Debacle.) Fortunately, VBOE remains opposed.
2014-11-18: WaPo: Arlington cancels Columbia Pike, Crystal City streetcar projects
Arlington County announced Tuesday that it is canceling the long-planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar projects in the face of strong and vocal opposition from county residents, a surprise decision that sparked sharp criticism from officials in neighboring Fairfax County. (How's that for Implications of the Vihstadt Election.)
2014-11-16: Daily Press: The Virginia Way: Politics, Power and Profit, by Dave Ress
In Virginia, the line between right and wrong -- or, more correctly, between legal and illegal -- is very thin. This eight-part series explores the many ways that Virginia lawmakers can use to benefit themselves while minding the public interest.
2014-11-13: Bacon's Rebellion: The Statewide Implications of the Vihstadt Election
The election of John Vihstadt to the Arlington County Board in the general election last week is rocking the Democratic political establishment in Virginia's most liberal jurisdiction. Arlington is the bluest of blue electorally, but its citizens have had it up to their eyeballs with gold-plated spending schemes, including the $350 million streetcar project.
2014-11-10: Times Dispatch: General Assembly approves budget fix despite conservative revolt
A conservative revolt in the House of Delegates ended Monday without a dissenting vote against a bill to fill a $2.4 billion revenue shortfall in the two-year state budget and also without delaying a transfer of almost $50 million in sales tax revenue to transportation. Even the principal opponent of the bill, Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, voted for it.
2014-11-10: Watchdog.org: Lawmakers try to protect transportation funds, restore kill switch
Republican delegates Bob Marshall and Mark Berg say they will offer amendments "to ensure that transportation taxes will cease if diverted by the state or localities in Northern Virginia and Tidewater." (The budget bill -- HB 5002 -- neutered the transportation tax "kill switch" and authorized spending $30 million of the new road money for other purposes.)
2014-11-08: FCTA: Virginia Democrats' BFF: Robert Sarvis and the GOP, by David Swink
In two consecutive years now, Robert Sarvis' third-party candidacy plus GOP stinginess have caused both Ken Cuccinelli and Ed Gillespie to narrowly lose to Terry McAuliffe and Mark Warner respectively. I thus award to both Robert Sarvis and the GOP the social networking title of "Best Friends Forever" to Virginia Democrats.
2014-11-04: CFACT: Property rights day of action in Richmond, and an UPDATE!
Radical Green groups have placed property rights under siege in Virginia and throughout the United States. Martha Boneta is a great example. CFACT is joining forces with concerned citizens and organizations for a day of action in Richmond, Virginia this Thursday.
2014-10-31: Fx Ti404: Obamacare driving health insurance costs up -- Letter from Fran Haines
"Earlier this month, my husband and I were notified by Anthem that our monthly premium will increase from $348 to $935 and that our annual deductible will be $11,000. When I called Anthem, they told me that this was because of Obamacare's requirements and, essentially, because our family is healthy."
2014-10-25: Fx Free Citizen: For More Obama, Vote for Incumbents -- by FCTA's Fred Costello
... If you like your government, you can keep your government -- vote for the incumbents. If you're disturbed by the foregoing, vote against the incumbents on whose watch these policies were implemented.
2014-10-20: WT: Ed Gillespie and Wapo: Mark Warner -- Editorial endorsements for U.S. Senator
2014-10-17: Bacon's Rebellion: The EPA's War on Virginia -- appease the god of global warming
Voters need to ask Virginia's congressional candidates -- most prominently Senatorial candidates Mark Warmer and Ed Gillespie -- what they think of the EPA mandates and what they, as congressmen, can do to mitigate the impact on Virginia ratepayers.
2014-10-15: Examiner: Virginia plans 565 layoffs, budget cuts, costlier booze
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday announced the layoff of 565 state workers, other targeted cuts and a liquor price-hike as he aims to close a shortfall in the state's two-year budget.
2014-10-10: Watchdog.org: Virginia's fork in road: Internet tax or gas hike -- Kenric Ward
Unknown to most, Virginians are about to be slapped with an $800 million-plus tax hike. A little-noticed provision in the state's 2012 transportation package triggers a 45 percent increase in Virginia's gas tax if Congress fails to enact a national Internet sales tax.
2014-10-10: FCTA: VRS Investment Professionals' Compensation -- VRS response to FCTA's query
"Dear Mr. McAndrew: Senator Howell asked me to respond to your email concerning recent news articles highlighting the compensation of Virginia Retirement System investment personnel. I believe that the points below help to illustrate the value added to the VRS trust fund by its investment professionals..."
2014-10-08: Bacon's Rebellion: Virginia Students Achieve SAT Gains, after bad SOL results.
Virginia public school juniors and seniors ranked fourth nationally for the percentage (19.2%) earning a qualifying score (at least 3 out of 5) in one or more exams.
2014-10-08: Watchdog.org: Gerry Connolly defends funding Hamas-backed unity government
Connolly (D-Va.), at a Sept. 28 Arab American Candidates Night forum, emphasized his determination to fight House of Representatives colleagues who might block the funding for a group the U.S. says is a terror organization.
2014-09-25: Watchdog.org: Arlington streetcar moves amid rising costs, controversy, by K Ward
Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt calls the 7.6-mile streetcar venture "a fiscal and transit albatross" that will clog streets and increase taxpayer debt, with guaranteed delays adding to the cost. Recommends a more flexible and less costly bus rapid transit (BRT) line.
2014-09-24: FCTA calculates Obamacare costs in Virginia, using Kaiser's Subsidy Calculator
Presented are the latest calculations of Obamacare costs, using the Kaiser Family Foundation's easy-to-use form. Anyone can go to the free anonymous calculator without entering their name, social security number or address. It takes only five minutes.
2014-09-21: Times Dispatch: 25 highest-paid state employees -- VRS officials top the list
2014-09-15: Va Free Citizen: Great News for Va, $2.4B Shortfall is Vanishing!, Susan Stimpson
The $2.4 billion shortfall that Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a few weeks ago is vanishing among positive economic news from his own Secretary of Finance Ric Brown. The news of increased tax revenues in Virginia is buttressed by corresponding parallel trends at the federal level.
2014-09-08: HB5008: Virginia Health Care Independence Act (Tom Rust's bill defeated 34-66)
Obamacare costs Virginians $2B per year in taxes and fees without any benefits returned. The goals of this bill are to provide health insurance, help the transition from Medicaid to private insurance, reduce costs in the health program, and return Virginians' funds to Virginia for its use.
2014-09-05: Bacon's Rebellion: The Emerging Exurban Dead Zone -- "The Great Submergence"?
A dozen or more exurban counties on the metropolitan fringe of Washington, Richmond and Hampton Roads are likely to experience deflating land values, shrinking real estate property revenues and chronic fiscal stress. Their scattered, low-density settlement patterns have high embedded costs and local governments will be hard-pressed to maintain the supporting services and infrastructure.
2014-08-27: WaPo: Virginia state academic tests show stagnant scores on reading, writing
Of the state's 132 school districts, 110 divisions improved their average scores on math tests and 13 remained the same last school year compared with the previous year. On state reading tests, students in 64 school divisions saw overall reading scores drop and 76 districts recorded losses on writing exams.
2014-08-26: Sun Gazette: Fairfax election officials identify 17 who double-voted in Va., Md.
The Fairfax County Electoral Board has referred the names of 17 individuals to the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Virginia Attorney General and the federal Department of Justice for investigation of possible voter fraud. (But one must wonder: Will there be any prosecutions?)
2014-08-21: Watchdog.org: 14,646 duplicate voters flagged in Fairfax, Maryland, Kenric Ward
FAIRFAX, Va. -- An election-integrity group is challenging the status of nearly 15,000 voters reportedly registered in both Fairfax County and Maryland. Virginia Voters Alliance on Wednesday urged Fairfax's electoral board to do what state officials have so far not done across the commonwealth: Purge those duplicate voters.
2014-08-15: Watchdog.org: $15 billion in unfunded county debts go dark in Virginia, by K Ward
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia has stopped reporting billions of dollars in unfunded county debts, leaving the public in the dark about the depth of the red ink. The last online report by the state Auditor of Public Accounts showed that Virginia's 95 counties had piled up $15,474,494,443 in "unfunded debt" in 2012.
2014-07-30: Watchdog.org: Vote fraud cases go nowhere with Fairfax prosecutor, by Kenric Ward
FAIRFAX, Va. -- Four years after the Fairfax County election board began uncovering cases of alleged voter fraud, the local prosecutor has not taken action, and has nothing to say. More than 200 names were turned over to Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh for investigation. The names appeared on voter rolls, even though the individuals had excused themselves from jury duty because they were not citizens.
2014-07-28: FCTA: Gov't Size in Virginia Counties & Cities - 2012
Examines how many employees Virginia counties and cities each have on the public payroll as a percentage of the local population. In other words, how efficient is each jurisdiction in providing government services to their citizens?
2014-07-24: Daily Signal: Green Group Watched for Trespassing, Harassment at Fauquier Farm
What began as a laudable effort to provide financially stressed landowner with tax breaks in exchange for setting aside land for conservation has been converted into a vehicle for government land grabs.
2014-07-15: Watchdog.org: Virginia GOP candidate rails against 'inflated' streetcar campaign
A GOP General Assembly candidate in Democrat-heavy Arlington County is challenging a controversial streetcar project, even as Gov. Terry McAuliffe tries to sweeten the deal with $65 million in new state funding.
2014-07-01: Examiner: States' Economic Growth Since Great Recession
Western and Plains states fared well after 2010, whereas most Northeastern states fared poorly. With the noteworthy exceptions of Virginia (46th) and Louisiana -- which, like Maine, hardly grew at all in three years, Southern states turned in mediocre performances, below the national average, with Tennessee leading the pack at 7 percent.
2014-06-30: FCTA: Budget Efficiency by State
Examines how much Virginia and other states spend per resident. In other words, how efficient is each state in providing government services to their citizens?
2014-06-27: Senator Kaine to constituent: I support the War On Coal
In a letter to an FCTA member, Senator Tim Kaine espouses his belief in the manmade global warming myth, and supports the EPA's War On Coal.
2014-06-23: Bacon's Rebellion: When the Bubble Pops
There's only so much that Virginia and local government officials can do to counteract the inevitable squeeze of federal government spending. Uncle Sam's long-term budget crisis is far from over. The federal government will continue to be a drag on the regional economy for a long, long time.
2014-06-16: WT: Prince William renews push for deportation data on illegal immigrants
The Virginia county that ignited a national debate by using local police to round up illegal immigrants is planning a new legal maneuver to force the U.S. government to divulge what it did with the more than 7,000 people turned over to deportation authorities.
2014-06-13: Fx Free Citizen: Virginia GA Passes Budget Without Medicaid Expansion
"This is a tremendous victory for the citizens of Virginia. Not only have we defeated establishment politicians and big hospital lobbyists, but we have breathed new life into transforming the way we deliver healthcare to the most needy in our state."
2014-06-13: Alex Times: Driving Lyft, Uber out of the market
Just when you thought the Department of Motor Vehicles could not get any less popular, Virginia's DMV officials sent cease-and-desist letters to passenger carrier companies Uber and Lyft, urging them to stop doing business in the commonwealth.
2014-05-22: Watchdog.org: 308,000 Virginia voters registered in other states, by Kenric Ward
The Virginia Voters Alliance reports that some 308,000 Virginia voters are also registered elsewhere, according to an analysis of 22 states' election records.
2014-05-16: Watchdog.org: Marshall urges impeachment of attorney general, by Kathryn Watson
"Voters shouldn't stay with Republicans too long if they're not wiling to defend what they claim they believe. They're going to have so many more violations and predatory acts by Herring and (Gov. Terry) McAuliffe, this is going to be pansy day at the General Assembly," Marshall said.
2014-05-14: Watchdog.org: GOP's No. 2 House leader feels heat at home, Kenric Ward
Barely three weeks to primary election day, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor faces a Republican insurgency that could boot him off Capitol Hill.
2014-05-02: Watchdog.org: 'Unsustainable' corporate giveaways bloat VA budget, by Kenric Ward
Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to boost corporate-welfare handouts to $136 million over the next two years -- a 24 percent increase. Matt Mitchell, senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, calls such endeavors "unsustainable".
2014-04-29: WT: Virginia's budgetary obesity epidemic
Tipping the scales at $96 billion, the proposed two-year budget sets a record. That's a growth of 11 percent for the state government in just two years, even though the rate of inflation was 2.9 percent and personal-income growth topped 4.5 percent over this same period.
2014-04-28: Watchdog.org: Virginia fails to police voter rolls, critics charge, Kenric Ward
Robert Moore told Watchdog he moved from Fairfax County to Contra Costa County, Calif., in 1999 -- missing almost 15 years of Virginia elections. Yet his name remains on the Fairfax voter rolls. "It's a running joke with my mom, who sees my name on the precinct list every time she votes," he said.
2014-04-23: Watchdog.org: 44,000 voters registered in both Virginia and Maryland, Kenric Ward
"The Virginia Voters Alliance is investigating how to identify voters who are registered and vote in Virginia but live in the states that surround us," Alliance President Reagan George told the State Board of Elections.
2014-04-11: Examiner: McAuliffe says Global Warming Threatens Norfolk
Having apparently drunk too much environmental Kool-Aid, Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is warning that global warming could raise sea levels high enough to flood the Hampton Roads region, home to the world's largest naval base, without immediate and "smart decisions".
2014-04-09: Fx Free Citizen: The McAuliffe Way: Not What The Framers Intended
Today, in Virginia, the people are not being served by those who have been elected to office, at least not those elected from the Democrat and Progressive factions of the political arena.
2014-04-08: Video: Hostage to Medicaid Expansion (0:31 min) -- Americans For Prosperity
2014-03-27: Medicaid expansion in Virginia? YES or NO: Richmond Times-Dispatch guest opinions
2014-03-26: Bacon's Rebellion: Getting the Healthcare We Deserve
Price transparency for medical procedures is fundamental for a market-based health care system: Without prices, a market cannot function; consumers cannot shop for medical services. What we have in the United States, and Virginia, may be described as a non-governmental health care system but it is not a market-based system.
2014-03-21: Watchdog.org: Spending more on Va. students doesn't mean they're getting smarter
A new study by the Cato Institute finds that, adjusted for inflation, per-pupil spending from 1972 to 2012 has soared 120 percent in Virginia. But SAT scores have remained virtually stagnant. In fact, when adjusted for participation and demographics, Virginia's SAT scores actually fell by 3 percent.
2014-03-10: Free Beacon: Muslim Brotherhood-Tied Activist to Host Fundraiser for Gerry Connolly
A Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated activist whose organization recently came under fire for holding an anti-Semitic rally in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will head a fundraiser for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).
2014-03-09: Examiner: General Assembly adjourns without Va. budget
Virginia lawmakers left Richmond Saturday without accomplishing their most important task: passing a roughly $96 billion budget for the next two years. (Democrats seem willing to hold the budget hostage to Obamacaid Expansion, which House Republicans oppose.)
2014-03-07: Richmond Sunlight: Va. House, Senate celebrate Islamic terrorist center
HJ484, "Commending the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center" in Falls Church [of Anwar al-Awlaki fame], was introduced by No. Va. Delegates (Lopez, Kory, Plum, Sickles, Simon, and Watts), and passed by the House and Senate.
2014-03-05: Medicaid Expansion ... Bad Medicine for Virginia
"Virginians for Quality Healthcare" speaks out against Medicaid expansion in Virginia and elsewhere.
2014-02-26: Watchdog.org: 2 Candidates in Va. Slam Investor-Visa 'Boondoggle'
Two Republican congressional candidates in Virginia say the federal investor-visa program is "ripe with abuse" and that it's time for a House cleaning. "It's a total crony boondoggle," Dave Brat said of the EB-5 immigration program.
2014-02-18: WaPo: FBI needs public to help find corruption in Northern Va.
The unusual news release listed the Washington Field Office’s telephone hotline (703-686-6225) and an e-mail address (NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov) for tips.
2014-02-16: WaPo: Va. Senate panel proposes alternative to Medicaid expansion
Instead of expanding Medicaid as it has traditionally operated, the Senate Finance Committee proposed helping up to 400,000 Virginians buy private insurance through a program that would be known as "Marketplace Virginia".
2014-02-11: FxCo: White Paper on Medicaid Expansion in Virginia (Fx Co supports!)
"Fairfax County strongly supports the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Virginia to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level by the 2013 General Assembly." (Consider the source.) Also the Virginia Hospital Healthcare Association weighs in. (Follow the money.) If a taxpayer is in doubt regarding an issue, he can often confirm a position for or against based on the credibility of other sources.
2014-02-07: Times Dispatch: House defeats bid for Convention of the States, by a 67-29 vote
At a convention, the states would come together and propose constitutional amendments to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and limit the terms of office of its officials and members of Congress. Article 5 of the Constitution says a convention of the states requires "application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states" (34/50).
2014-02-05: WT: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe rerouted funds for inaugural
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was crucified by the media for accepting gifts while in office. But now Gov. Terry McAuliffe has found a way to route $211,000 from his inaugural fund back to his election campaign and the Virginia Democratic Party. And former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, used $400,000 of his inaugural funds as seed money to form a political action committee.
2014-01-xx: Richmond Sunlight - 2014 Bills
The Virginia General Assembly is now in session, and these are the bills being presented.
2014-01-31: Richmond Sunlight - HB45 Fails! -- Would allow study of local BPOL tax
2014-01-26: FCTA: What we've done for taxpayers in January
Your humble servants have descended on Richmond twice this year to plea for reduced spending. ... Over 40 letters were dispensed to the Northern Virginia delegation with mixed results.
2014-01-18: WaPo: Virginia to fight same-sex marriage ban
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring will announce Thursday that he believes the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down. (So HB706 really is necessary.)
2014-01-18: WaPo: The ABCs of venal politics in Virginia
Long-time Republican consultant Boyd Marcus merely sold out to the highest bidder when abandoning Cuccinelli for McAuliffe in the campaign for Virginia governor last August.
2014-01-18: FCTA Report of Sully Town Hall Meeting
FCTA's Charles McAndrew and Rob Whitfield attended a two hour town hall meeting at the Sully Government Center to hear Virginia representatives discuss issues such as Medicaid Expansion, Transportation, Income Tax Inequality, Ethics Reform, and School Testing.
2014-01-08: HB706 General Assembly member; legislative standing to defend laws of Commonwealth
Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) wants to add a provision to the Code of Virginia in case "the Governor and Attorney General choose not to defend the law". (Now how do you suppose that possibility occurred to him?)
2014-01-04: FCTA: Virginia Education and Welfare Programs Are Broken
Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance testimony to the Fairfax County delegation to the Virginia General Assembly
2013-12-xx: VRS: Virginia Retirement System 2013 Annual Report
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 2013
2013-12-18: Bacon's Rebellion: Game Changer for Medicaid Debate
The debate over Medicaid expansion took a major left turn yesterday when the McDonnell administration revealed that the VCU Medical Center and the University of Virginia Medical Center will lose about $500 million in federal funds to offset uncompensated care between 2017 and 2022.
2013-12-16: McDonnell proposes $10 billion increase in Va. budget
Your household budget may not be growing in this era of flat wages, but Virginia's is. Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposed budget for the next biennium totals nearly $96 billion, an increase from the $86 billion for the current two-year cycle that runs through June 2014.
2013-12-05: Sun Gazette: General Assembly to Tackle Ethics, Medicaid, Mental-Health Issues
They come from opposing political parties and serve in different bodies of the General Assembly, but state Sen. Richard Saslaw (D-35th) and Del. David Albo (R-42nd) largely agree on several issues that will dominate the 2014 session.
2013-12-05: Watchdog.org: D.C. cash flow turns Virginia green -- and blue, by Kenric Ward
While Virginia boasts the highest percentage of federally funded private-sector jobs in the nation, "real" private enterprise in the commonwealth ranks second to last, a new report says.
2013-11-xx: TJ Institute: Long-Term Care Vulnerability - A Case Study in Virginia
Virginia is faced with a serious problem as are all states: The aging population requires us to determine how to handle the additional costs this will bring to government and personal budgets. Long Term Care is one of the more important problems facing all parents. How to address this need for Long Term Care, are examined by this new study on Long-term care funded by Medicaid.
2013-11-29: Bacon's Rebellion: No More Medicaid as Middle-Class Entitlement
When legislators debate expansion of Virginia's Medicaid program in the 2014 session, they would do well to consider the long-term outlook for Medicaid spending. The program already consumes 17% of the state's general fund budget, and that percentage will grow relentlessly as the population ages.
2013-11-29: Watchdog.org: VA 'Tide' warning: Don't get on the wrong track, by Kenric Ward
"Budget overruns are only a symptom of a problem," O'Toole told Watchdog.org. Lest Richmond fall in line for more "mass transit", the Cato expert cautions: "In order to sell it, (proponents) start by low-balling the costs. Even if the original cost projections had been accurate, it would not make sense to build light rail."
2013-10-16: Va Soc CPAs: JLARC Issues Impact Report on BPOL Tax Change to Income Basis
It found that using income as the basis for the BPOL tax could reduce local BPOL revenue by up to 95 percent, would redistribute the tax's effect, and greatly increase complexity of compliance.
2013-10-08: Tax Analysts: In Search of a Win-Win for the Virginia BPOL Tax
There are constant calls for the elimination of the Virginia business, professional, and occupational license (BPOL) tax by the business community, government, and others. In fact, the current Virginia gubernatorial candidates -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), Democrat Terry McAuliffe, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis -- agree, and have issued preliminary proposals to reduce or eliminate the BPOL tax.
2013-02-21: FCTA: No Tax Hike Needed for Transportation
Virginia has plenty of money for transportation, without additional tax hikes. New taxes reward and subsidize the General Assembly's and Governor's failure to rein in out-of-control spending on education and Medicaid, programs that are not meeting their goals. Rather than raise taxes, elected officials should better manage the revenue they have.
2012-xx-xx: Virginia Voting Precincts: Info includes districting, population, and lat/long
2012-12-15: WaPo: Controversy surrounds Va. plan to build $1.4 billion toll road
Virginia, a state so strapped for road funds that it dips into the new-construction kitty to patch potholes, is about to bankroll a $1.4 billion highway. It would run for 55miles in southeastern Virginia between Petersburg and Suffolk, parallel to U.S. 460, a four-lane road along which average volume ranges from 9,200 to 17,000 vehicles a day. Low traffic projections have leaders from some more heavily traveled parts of the state fuming.
2012-04-xx: TJ Institute: Tax Restructuring in VA: Revenue Neutral Path to Improve VA's Economy
For many years businesses in Virginia have complained about three taxes that most everyone agrees are unfair and restrict job growth. The most egregious of these is the Business Professional Occupation Licensing (BPOL) tax, levied on the gross receipts of a business.
2010-07-xx: FairUS.org: The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on Virginia -- graphic
2010-06-30: Virginia's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 2010 Annual Report
2010-06-24: Va Board of Education: We Oppose "Common Core" National Standards, Support SOLs
The Board supports the development of internationally benchmarked standards for states to adopt outright or to use as models to improve their own standards. The board, however, opposes federal attempts to compel word-for-word adoption of the Common Core State Standards.
2009-10-22: FCTA: VIRGINIA RETIREMENT SYSTEM (VRS): A generous system!, by Charles McAndrew
A 2008 study found that only four other States besides Virginia did not require state workers to contribute to their State government rerirement plans. Maryland state workers pay 5% of their salary to their state pension plan, and North Carolina state workers pay 6% to their pension plan.
2009-10-22: FCTA: TAXES ARE NEVER ENOUGH!, by Charles McAndrew
Many years ago, back in the forties and fifties, Virginia operated on a "pay as you go" budget. That is, they spent within the annual budget. The budget usually never increased beyond the inflation and population percentages. However, in the sixties, the "Liberals" took over and things started changing for the worst.