Ralph Northam

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's administration says it is looking for advice on how to make the state more attractive to offshore wind power.

Northam's office announced Tuesday that the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is seeking a contract to provide a strategic plan to make Virginia an east coast hub for the offshore wind energy industry.

Virginia currently doesn't have any offshore turbines.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a bill requiring jails and prisons to supply feminine health products to inmates for free.

WVIR-TV reported Wednesday that House Bill 83 will go into effect on July 1. State jails and prisons used to decide individually what they would charge for pads and tampons. Incarcerated women sometimes had to pay up to several dollars. This law now requires the Department of Corrections to ensure a free supply at every jail and prison in the state.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The state of Virginia is developing a new data-driven way to prioritize what parcels of land should be a top priority for conservation.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the new strategy Tuesday.

Matt Strickler is the state's secretary of natural resources. He says the new analysis method will weigh factors like biodiversity, water quality protection and high-value forest cores.

Strickler says the system should be up and running in a "matter of months." He says it's too soon to say what parcels of land will be a top priority. 

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has asked the federal government to make more than 200 low-income areas eligible for new tax breaks.

Northam said last week that he'd nominated 212 so-called "opportunity zones" to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

A new tax overhaul passed last year allows for tax breaks for certain kinds of investments in certain designated low-income census tracks.

Official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have rejected a proposal by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to raise taxes to help improve the Washington-area's struggling public transit system.

House Republicans voted Wednesday against small increases on real estate and hotel taxes in Northern Virginia to fund Metro. The new taxes would have raised about $30 million a year.

Instead, the state will rely more on existing funding for road projects to help cover the state's $150 million a year in new Metro spending.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Richmond International Film Festival has named former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as the recipient of its 2018 Pioneer Award for Excellence in Public Service & Leadership.

Each year, the festival honors state and national leaders who are paving a future path in leadership and evoking change in communities.

This year, McAuliffe was chosen for effectively ending homelessness among the state's military veterans.

The award will be presented to McAuliffe by Gov. Ralph Northam during the festival's Military Spotlight on April 29.

alex ford / creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed legislation that would have limited his authority to institute a carbon cap-and-trade plan.

Northam, a Democrat, announced Monday he had spiked a bill that requires legislative approval before Virginia can participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that mandates emission reductions in the power sector.

camapign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed a bill aimed at preventing so-called "sanctuary cities" in the state.

Northam, a Democrat, said the legislation is an unneeded burden on local law enforcement officials and "sends a chilling message."

The Republican-backed legislation blocks cities and counties from passing laws that "restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws."

A sanctuary city is a term without legal definition but generally means a locality that limits cooperation with federal immigration enforcement activities.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation that will soften the penalties for people caught stealing smaller-dollar items.

The Democratic governor announced Wednesday that he'd approved a bill that raises the state's felony theft threshold from $200 to $500.

Virginia has kept its felony bar at $200 since 1980 and is tied with New Jersey for the lowest in the country. Northam said raising the threshold was a legislative priority, but had previously pushed for it to be set at $1,000.

camapign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is set to introduce a new budget for next month's special session.

Northam will discuss his proposal at a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The governor announced last week that he was calling state lawmakers back to work in April after they adjourned the regular 2018 session without passing a state spending plan.

The GOP-led General Assembly is split on whether to expand Medicaid to about 300,000 low-income Virginians. The House supports expansion while the Senate does not.

Official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling state lawmakers back to work next month to pass a state budget.

Northam, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he's calling a special session on April 11. The move comes after lawmakers adjourned the regular 2018 session last week without passing a state spending plan.

The GOP-led General Assembly is split on whether to expand Medicaid to about 300,000 low-income Virginians. The House supports expansion while the Senate does not.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers finished up the 2018 session Saturday without doing their most important job: passing a state budget.

They hit a stalemate because Republicans legislators can't agree on whether to expand Medicaid to about 300,000 low-income adults.

The GOP-controlled House backs it, while the Republican-led Senate opposes it. Lawmakers will go home while negotiations continue. The state government will shut down July 1 if no budget is passed.

oceanart.us

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill intended to bring Virginia into compliance with an interstate body's decision regarding Atlantic menhaden catch limits has died in the House of Delegates.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Del. Barry Knight made a motion Tuesday to send his bill back to committee, effectively killing it for the year.

The bill would have committed the state to pursuing an appeal of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's decision to adopt new catch limits.

campaign website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has passed a bill aimed at preventing so-called "sanctuary cities" despite veto promises from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to approve legislation that would ban localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Republicans said the bill is needed to show that Virginia respects the rule of law and that undocumented immigrants are not entitled to special privileges.

Don Rush

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is being asked to impose an injunction on 83 chicken farms in Accomack County.

The three page letter was sent by five residents of the Virginia Eastern Shore.

And a copy of the letter was also sent to Governor Ralph Northam.

The group is asking that there be an immediate injunction on any current and future groundwater taken from the Upper or Middle Yorktown aquifer until the chicken operations receive groundwater permits.

campaign website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A sanctuary cities bill was passed even though the governor of Virginia has vowed to veto the bill.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the sanctuary cities bill initially failed Tuesday on a 50-50 deadlock.

However, the vote against the bill by Del. Gordon Helsel was apparently a mistake and, on the second try, the bill was passed 51-49 on party lines.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A push to bring Virginia in line with almost every other state and ban the personal use of campaign funds has little chance of success this year.

Elected officials in both parties have advocated for a ban, including Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

But a Senate panel voted Tuesday against a bill to prohibit using campaign funds for personal use, instead sending the measure for further study. The move signals that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass the measure this year.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A series of bills to facilitate the removal or relocation of Confederate statues has been voted down after top Virginia Democrats called for Confederate statues to be taken down.

A House of Delegates subcommittee overwhelmingly voted down the series of bills.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Wednesday's vote means that the state won't be getting rid of its memorials to the lost cause anytime soon because another panel already voted down a similar bill in the Senate.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A push to bring Virginia in line with almost every other state and ban the personal use of campaign funds has little chance of success this year.

Elected officials in both parties have advocated for a ban, including Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

But a Senate panel voted Tuesday against a bill to prohibit using campaign funds for personal use, instead sending the measure for further study. The move signals that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass the measure this year.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans are softening their opposition to expanding the state's Medicaid program.

House Speaker Kirk Cox sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday saying his caucus is willing to begin a dialogue on healthcare.

But Cox says Republicans still oppose a "straightforward" expansion of the publicly funded healthcare program for the poor and disabled, and that any discussion must include work requirements and other reforms favored by the GOP.

all free download

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has announced $1 million in grant funds is available to law enforcement agencies seeking to upgrade their technology and equipment.

The grants are federal funds awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice from the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program.

In addition to upgrading technology and equipment, law enforcement agencies can also use the funds to enhance officer recruitment efforts and create programs to help officers effectively cope with work-related stress.

campaign website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - New Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking the Republican-backed General Assembly to pass a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicaid, stricter gun regulations and protecting abortion rights.

The governor made his remarks in a major address to state lawmakers Monday, saying that voters sent a clear message in last November's election when Democrats made major gains.

His remarks came the same day a GOP-led legislative panel defeated a top Northam priority to expand background checks on gun buyers.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state Senate panel has defeated a Democratic push for stricter gun laws.

A Republican-led panel voted Monday to block legislation that would allow cities and counties to ban firearms at certain public events. The bill came in response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last summer where several participants were heavily armed. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe enacted similar rules on a temporary basis last November.

camapign photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam says curbing gun violence and expanding Medicaid will be two of his top legislative priorities after he takes office Saturday.

Northam spoke with outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a press conference Tuesday, one day before the start of the General Assembly session. The two laid out a joint legislative package.

It includes legislation that would implement universal background checks for gun purchases. It also calls for Medicaid expansion to cover more low-income Virginians.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia General Assembly is set to kick off its 2018 session.

Lawmakers will officially convene at noon Wednesday, and a host of new faces will fill the House of Delegates, where Democrats picked up 15 seats in the November elections.

Later in the day, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe will give his final State of the Commonwealth address.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Turnout among young voters has been rising in Virginia. The change could signal trouble for Republicans nationwide.

The Washington Post reported Friday that young voters came out in historic numbers in Virginia's gubernatorial election earlier this month. They overwhelmingly supported Democrat Ralph Northam, who won by 9 points.

Republicans were already wrestling with an aging demographic. But analysts say the unpopular actions of President Trump are pushing away younger generations.

official photo

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine says the Democratic success in last week's Virginia election was like what he had hoped to accomplish when he ran on the Democratic presidential ticket last year with Hillary Clinton.

"Tuesday night was like the celebration I wanted to have a year ago," Kaine said Saturday, during a speech hosted by the Lynchburg College Democrats.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - This week's groundswell of political change in Virginia has improved the odds of Medicaid expansion becoming law there. The long-stalled liberal priority gained new life after Democrats nearly wiped out Republicans' overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.

It had repeatedly failed when Republicans controlled two-thirds of the chamber.

official photos

Democrat Ralph Northam swept to victory by a margin of 53 percent for 45 percent over his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia

After an acrimonious race the Democrat told supporters last night that he will seek to be a healer of divisions and political rancor when he takes office.

Northam said in his victory speech that the eyes of the nation were on Virginia on Election Tuesday.

He said that voters had told political leaders to end the divisiveness and bigotry.

Pages