Sunday, April 7, 2013
Virginia's legislature passed an amendment prohibiting some insurance companies from providing abortion coverage.
This week, Virginia’s legislature approved a measure by Gov. Bob McDonnell that prohibits certain health insurance companies from providing coverage for women seeking an abortion. The exceptions to the insurance coverage rule are in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. While the new Virginia legislation isn’t as restrictive of abortions as recent legislation passed in North Dakota and Alabama, critics are concerned about the financial effect the legislation may have on a woman’s decision. Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) said, “Women should be able to make decisions about their own health care without interference from politicians here in the state Capitol.” The Virginia Society for Human Life, an anti-abortion group, …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Virginia Democratic Caucus says there is no magic bullet for tolls, traffic solutions.
Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), whose district includes parts of Vienna and Oakton, was among a group of house delegates Monday who spoke out in Richmond about Virginia traffic. Plum called "some of the worst transportation gridlock in the country" and offered bipartisan support to solutions to the problem. "From the north end of the urban crescent in Northern Virginia - with the third- worst commute in the nation - to the southern end at Virginia Beach with the 18th-worst commute, Virginians pay dearly with the lost time, money, and quality of life because of traffic congestion," Plum said at a news conference held by the House Democratic Caucus. Among the goals for the House Democrats: To see a 5-percent wholesale gas tax; giving urban areas …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Educators don't support arming teachers or principals, but would welcome more trained, armed School Resource Officers "if money was no issue."
A group of educators from one of Fairfax County's largest teachers' unions says it doesn't want guns in schools, according to a survey released Thursday morning by the union, which goes on to say security personnel "can help address a portion of the issue (of school security), but they cannot fix the entire problem." The results come after nearly 500 members of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers responded to a survey on school safety and security — in an effort to make teachers' voices a larger part of state and nationwide conversations about gun control and schools, according to the federation's president, Steve Greenburg "The issue of guns being brought to schools and the issue of making our schools more secure is a complex effort…
Monday, January 14, 2013
Group charged with evaluating school safety says it'll focus on experts and fact, not emotion.
Monday, January 14
By Whitney Spicer, Capital News Service Members of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s School and Campus Safety Task Force vowed Monday their recommendations on keeping Virginia’s schools safe would be based on fact and not emotion. The task force – charged with evaluating the safety of schools and campuses throughout the state – was assembled by McDonnell in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last month in Newtown, Conn. “I thought in the wake of that terrible tragedy, it would be prudent to get all of our leading experts from all disciplines together to gather around a table or two, and talk about what can we do better,” McDonnell said. After a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, some …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Virginia governor's proposed $3.1 billion transportation overhaul gives higher percentage of sales tax to projects, leaves tax on diesel in tact.
Wednesday, January 9
By Mark Robinson, Capital News Service RICHMOND – With the General Assembly set to convene, Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed Tuesday increasing Virginia’s sales tax and abolishing its nearly 27-year-old gas tax, making Virginia the first state in the country to do so. The measures are a part of the governor’s proposed $3.1 billion plan to fund improvements to Virginia’s transportation system over the next five years. The funds would supplement $14 billion of transportation projects already under way in the commonwealth, the most in Virginia’s history. “Declining funds for infrastructure maintenance, stagnant motor fuels tax revenues, increased demand for transit and passenger rail and the growing cost of major infrastructure projects …
Governor's five-year, $3.1 billion transportation overhaul aims to fund major road and infrastructure needs. Tell us: Do you think the governor's plan is a sustainable option for road maintenance and new projects?
Virginia residents could see a higher sales tax — and the state could become the first in the country to shed its gas tax — if a transportation plan unveiled by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell passes the state's General Assembly during its 2013 session. The five-year, $3.1 billion transportation overhaul is the governor's attempt to address some of the state's major road and infrastructure needs in coming years; $14 billion in projects are already underway across Virginia. McDonnell said the 17.5 cent tax on gasoline — which accounts for more than 30 percent of Virginia's transportation revenues — was "dated," blaming inflation and better mileage on the dollar for making it a stagnant funding source. Raising sales tax from 5 to 5.8 percent, …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
In light of Sandy Hook shootings and ahead of Virginia General Assembly kickoff this week, union turns to members to get opinion on guns in schools and what safe schools should look like.
In the weeks since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., politicians and advocacy groups have issued recommendations for how schools can try to prevent the tragedy — which killed 26 students and school employees — from happening again. A voice so far largely absent from those discussions in Fairfax and Northern Virginia: teachers. One of Fairfax County's largest teachers unions is hoping to change that, launching Tuesday a security and schools survey asking its 4,265 members about the use of guns in schools, where the system could use extra security personnel, how safe schools are now and how to make them safer, among other topics. "What I see more and more of is politicians posturing up and taking positions …
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
In interview on WTOP Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says idea should be explored.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said on Tuesday that it may be time to explore the idea of arming teachers and other school officials. The Republican governor made his remarks in an interview Tuesday on WTOP. His remarks came during a discussion of the killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., on Friday. The governor was asked: "What about the idea of allowing people — adults, supervisors, principals, teachers — to be armed inside the public schools of Virginia?" "I know there's been a knee-jerk reaction against that," McDonnell said. "I think there should at least be a discussion about it." "If people were armed, not just a police officer but other officials who were trained and chose to have a weapon, …
Friday, December 14, 2012
More than 20 dead, including young children, after incident at elementary school in Newtown, Conn., AP reports.
Gov. Bob McDonnell released a statement Friday about the school shootings in Connecticut: “It is with a heavy heart and the deepest of sympathies that I learned earlier today of the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those impacted by the events transpiring today, and to the teachers, emergency responders, and all others touched by this tragedy. Unfortunately, Virginia has our own painful memories of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Those memories will never fade, and we continue to grieve for all those lost on that April day. We are all too aware of the impact that events like this can have on a community. If there is anything Virginia can do to assist Governor Malloy…
Sunday, December 2, 2012
From Dec. 2 to 8, Gov. Bob McDonnell is encouraging Virginians to prepare for severe weather this winter.
Gov. McDonnell has proclaimed Dec. 2 to 8 as Winter Preparedness Week in the commonwealth and is encouraging Virginians to prepare to protect themselves and their families in the event of any major winter storms. “Over the past 14 months, the commonwealth has suffered through extended power outages resulting from warm weather systems like hurricanes and derechos,” McDonnell said in a statement. “We hope all Virginians have taken note of these storms and will now take steps to be ready for the storms that winter could bring.” What should Virginians do to prepare for winter weather? Here are several safety tips from the governor’s office: Stay up to date on all storms this winter by subscribing to Oakton Patch's free daily newsletter.