Ralph Northam

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(AP) A Republican lawmaker and close friend of Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he believes the governor will remain in office based on their frequent conversations.

State Sen. Richard Stuart told The Associated Press that he speaks daily to Northam and talked to him on Tuesday.

Stuart said he believes the governor won't resign after Northam told him he felt responsibility to stay in office and make amends. He said the governor told him that he doesn't intend to run away from the problem.

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NEW YORK (AP) - The racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's yearbook page wasn't the only thing that disgusted Monifa Bandele. She was especially appalled that the image was published as he was graduating from medical school on his way to become a pediatrician.

The 1984 photo has stirred a national political furor and reopened the long history of bigotry in American medicine. The revelations about Northam gave many African-Americans a new reason to be distrustful of doctors.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A political death watch took shape at Virginia's Capitol as Gov. Ralph Northam consulted with top administration officials Monday about whether to resign amid a furor over a racist photo in his 1984 yearbook.

Practically all of the state's Democratic establishment - and Republican leaders, too - turned against the 59-year-old Democrat after the picture surfaced late last week of someone in blackface next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. The photo was on Northam's medical school yearbook page.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, is clinging to office amid rising calls from within his own party to resign over a photo of someone in blackface in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northan denies being in the yearbook photo even though he had apologized for it Friday and said previously that he was in it.

The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Sunday that Northam "still does not understand the seriousness of his actions."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's state House and Senate are working on competing versions of the state budget as a deadline approaches.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports the House Appropriations approved its revised two-year budget that includes extra money for teacher and state employee pay, an offer of money to colleges and universities to forestall tuition increases. It also includes down payments on high-tech education initiatives for Amazon and the state's growing technology business sector.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Missteps by Virginia Democrats in a debate over late-term abortions are giving Republicans hope they've found a powerful issue in a tough political environment.

Virginia Republican leaders vowed Thursday to make abortion a front-and-center issue during this year's legislative elections. And President Donald Trump indicated he sees the issue as a political winner.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - After nine minutes of debate, the Virginia House sent a bill providing more than a half-billion dollars in incentives for Amazon to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.

News outlets report that the House voted 83-16 on Monday in favor of the measure, which would create $550 million in "post-performance" incentives for the technology giant, based on job creation.

Northam has said he will sign the bill, which would give Amazon cash grants of $22,000 per new full-time job for the first 25,000 jobs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has announced the start of statewide community office hours when constituents can have one-on-one meetings with a representative from the governor's office.

The Office of Constituent Services and Community Engagement will schedule quarterly visits in each region of the state.

Currently, the office facilitates communication between constituents and the governor through phone, email, letters and meetings in Richmond.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to legalize casinos in Virginia is advancing in the General Assembly, but the odds of passage are still unknown.

A pro-casino bill was approved with bipartisan support Monday by the General Laws and Technology Committee in the state Senate.

The legislation would allow developers to build casinos in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth if residents approved local referendums. The legislation now also lets the Pamunkey Indian Tribe build casinos in Richmond and Norfolk with local approval.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Microsoft plans to expand its data center operation in Southside Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that the tech giant was going to make a "significant" investment at its operations in Mecklenburg County. He said the expansion will create 100 new jobs.

Northam approved a $1.5 million grant for the expansion. The company will also be eligible for the tax breaks for data centers. The data center tax breaks by are far the biggest type of business tax breaks the state offers.

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It could be called governor’s day on the campus of Salisbury University.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that all three governors from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware are expected to appear on campus in February.

It will be Governor Larry Hogan’s first appearance this year after becoming the first Maryland Republican to be elected to a second term in decades.

Meanwhile, Delaware Governor John Carney and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – both Democrats – are also expected to make an appearance.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to make it easier to vote early and harder for political candidates to bring in big checks.

The Democratic governor outlined a package of proposed legislation Monday that includes a bill to allow no-excuse absentee voting.

Virginia currently limits absentee voting to people with qualifying reasons.

The governor is also proposing new campaign finance limits that would cap donations at $10,000, block direct donations from corporations, and prohibit lawmakers from the personal use of campaign funds.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is promoting a series of gun-control measures he says promote public safety while still respecting individual gun rights.           

The Democratic governor announced seven proposals at a Capitol news conference Friday ahead of the start of the legislative session.           

The proposals include a so-called "red flag" measure to take away guns temporarily from people who are considered dangerous.

A number of other states have passed similar measures since a mass shooting at a Florida high school last year.           

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed a package of environmental legislation aimed at safely disposing of coal ash, helping coastal communities deal with flooding caused by climate change and continuing the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The legislative agenda unveiled Thursday includes the Coastal Protection Act. The law would allow the state to use an estimated $50 million in revenue from the sale of carbon pollution credits for coastal resilience projects.  It also would dedicate funds for economic transition for coal communities.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than 182,000 Virginians have enrolled in new health coverage that begins in the new year.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the enrollment in the new coverage under Medicaid expansion on Wednesday.

The coverage is available to 19- to 64-year-olds who are not eligible for Medicare and meet income requirements, which vary by family size. SNAP recipients and parents whose children receive Medicaid coverage can use a short-form application to sign up by Jan. 4.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking state lawmakers for an extra $21.6 million for affordable housing and to help tenants facing eviction.

The Democratic governor highlighted parts of his forthcoming budget plans on Monday. He'll present his full budget to the GOP-led General Assembly on Tuesday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants lawmakers to approve spending $50 million to make it easier for people to get faster internet service.

Northam said Friday that his forthcoming state budget plan will include adding $50 million to the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. The program encourages internet service providers to expand broadband access to underserved areas.

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Environmentalists in Maryland appear to believe they now have the wind at their backs offering up the prospect of getting the General Assembly to approve the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act in the next legislative session.

The measure calls for increasing the state’s renewal energy sources for the state’s electricity to 50 percent by 2030 and to come up with a plan for 100 percent by 2040.

While Governor Larry Hogan vetoed an earlier version of the measure that called for 25 percent by 2020 he has not weighed in on the current legislation.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to boost state spending on school counselors as a way to keep kids safer.

The Democratic governor announced Thursday that he plans to ask the Republican-controlled General Assembly to approve $36 million in new spending to hire more school counselors and better address students' emotional needs.

Northam said he also wants to spend $3.3 million to help increase safety training for school officials, including active shooter drills.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to increase state spending on efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and improve the state's water quality.

Northam announced parts of his upcoming state budget plan Wednesday related to water issues.

The Democratic governor wants to increase funding for a program meant to help farmers improve water quality. He's also proposing to boost funding for a fund that helps cities and suburbs reduce pollution from storm-water runoff.

Northam said the spending would speed up efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing to give teachers a 5 percent pay boost next year.

The governor outlined parts of his upcoming state budget proposal Tuesday that would increase funding for K-12 education and shore up the state's rainy day fund.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans have asked a federal court to delay Virginia's 2019 primary schedule for three months to enable the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a redistricting lawsuit.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox also formally asked the court Wednesday to suspend efforts to redraw 11 House districts found to be racially gerrymandered. A court-appointed expert is scheduled to file a redrawn map by Dec. 7.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed an executive order aimed to boosting the state's ability to deal with rising sea levels and natural disasters.

Northam signed an order Friday that, among other things, mandates the creation of a "Coastal Resilience Master Plan" to protect the state's coastal areas.

Northam says the wide-ranging order is needed in part because extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - About 400,000 newly eligible low-income Virginia adults can start enrolling in Medicaid, a major achievement for the state's Democratic governor.

Medicaid expansion enrollment started Thursday in Virginia for coverage that will start at the beginning of 2019.

Expanding Medicaid was among the biggest legislative priorities for Gov. Ralph Northam.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is set to start accepting enrollment applications from the roughly 400,000 low-income adults newly eligible for Medicaid.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the state would begin accepting applications on Nov. 1 for new coverage that will begin at the start of 2019.

State lawmakers voted to expand Medicaid earlier this year, joining a majority of other states that have already expanded publicly funded health care to low-income adults. Medicaid expansion is a key part of former President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal judges have appointed a special expert to help redraw Virginia's state legislative districts.

A three-judge panel appointed Bernard Grofman, an economics and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, on Thursday. Judges also said indicated they want a new map to be in place by March 28, 2019.

A federal court ruled this summer that lawmakers illegally packed black voters into 11 districts and ordered lawmakers to draw a new map by the end of this month.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam says he's going to veto a GOP-drawn map aimed at fixing an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

Northam said Tuesday the GOP-led General Assembly's redrawing effort is too partisan and a federal court is best situated to draw a new legislative map.

A House committee voted along party lines last week to advance a GOP-drawn map that supporters say does not unfairly advantage either major political party. Opponents said the map is unfair to African-American voters.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has asked a group of experts to advise him on how to fight the state's opioid epidemic.

Northam signed an executive order Friday establishing an advisory commission on opioids and addiction.

The governor, who is a pediatric neurologist, said the commission will review the state's current approach at curbing opioid abuse and offer feedback on ways to improve.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia and the Army Corps of Engineers have finalized an agreement to build a 500-foot jetty on Tangier Island to help protect a navigation channel and harbor.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the agreement Monday and said the new jetty would help the island's seafood industry. The jetty is expected to cost about $2.6 million, and the state will cover about 20 percent.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says his state is well positioned to lead the development of the nation's offshore wind industry.

The Democrat spoke Friday in Norfolk at a conference sponsored by industry members and Virginia's Sierra Club chapter.

Dominion Energy and the Danish firm Orsted already plan to install two turbines 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast for a pilot project. But Northam said Virginia has the capacity for offshore turbines to generate power for 500,000 homes.

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