Archive for March 2012

Teachers Urge Governor to Veto VRS Overhaul

Virginia teachers and firefighters are urging Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto legislation overhauling the retirement plan for the state’s public employees. They said the General Assembly acted hastily on the last day of its regular session when it approved bills to reduce the benefits that employees would receive under the Virginia Retirement System.

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‘This Road Brought to You by …’

As the state budget inches closer to passage by the General Assembly, the Virginia Department of Transportation is hoping to raise money by selling the naming rights for roads, bridges and highway stretches.

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Virginia OKs Offshore Wind Energy Turbine

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s goal to install America’s first offshore wind energy turbine got a jolt of momentum this week from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve construction of a 479-foot-tall, five-megawatt wind turbine generator in the lower Chesapeake Bay, three miles off the Eastern Shore town of Cape Charles.

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Committee Will Craft State Budget Compromise

A legislative conference committee soon will begin deliberations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the state budget, which would take effect July 1. “We are cautiously optimistic that a solid, fiscally prudent budget will emerge from conference and be voted into law within the next few weeks,” House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said Tuesday.

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Democratic Lawyer Challenges U.S. Rep. Cantor

For Wayne Powell, Virginia’s 7th Congressional District “isn’t personal, it’s Cantor.” Powell, 62, is challenging Republican incumbent Eric Cantor of Henrico County for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Powell is one of the three candidates running for the spot on the Democratic ballot this fall.

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Catholic Conference Assesses Legislative Session

The Virginia Catholic Conference experienced both triumphs and failures during the General Assembly’s recently concluded regular session. As victories, VCC Executive Director Jeff Caruso cited the passage of a bill to require an ultrasound before a woman has an abortion – and the defeat of a bill to expand the death penalty in Virginia.

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Laws Ghostwritten by Conservative Group, Activists Say

On issues ranging from tax credits for private school tuition to a homeowner’s right to kill an intruder, several bills before the 2012 General Assembly resembled model laws proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a politically conservative think tank funded by major corporations.

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