Capitol Square News

  Despite recent push back, redistricting reform advocates support “Question One” ballot measure

Question one – a proposed constitutional amendment – is on ballots across the commonwealth. Supporters of the amendment say it will end gerrymandering as we know it, but opponents say it doesn’t go far enough.

  Del. Rob Bell reflects on eventful 59-day General Assembly Special Session

Northam announces $65.8M to increase child care access, support providers

Gov. Northam signs new laws supporting COVID-19 response, reform policing

Gov. Northam recovering after breaking hand

Gov. Northam announces plan to combat food insecurity in Virginia

VMI Board of Visitors pledges full cooperation in probe ordered after news report on racist incidents

Continued Coverage

As payouts begin, Virginia Employment Commission says money still left in Lost Wages Assistance program

Northam, other leaders write letter calling for investigation into claims of racism at VMI

Virginia lawmakers pass legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday

Virginia legislators advance police and criminal justice reform measures

VCU releases spring semester plans and cancels spring break

Bill prohibiting ‘no-knock’ warrants heads to Gov. Northam’s desk

Virginia lawmakers reach compromised deal on state budget

Virginia Republican lawmakers are crying foul over a deal reached this week on the state's two-year budget.

Virginia House passes COVID-19 relief, justice reform legislation

Virginia House passed eight bills during its Special Session on Wednesday on police and criminal justice reform and COVID-19 relief.

Virginians will vote on 2 proposed constitutional amendments

As Virginians head to the polls, they will vote on two proposed constitutional amendments.

Voting rights groups: Lawsuit filed to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline

A system outage that prevented voter registration on deadline line has prompted several voting rights groups to call on the courts to extend the deadline by 48. A federal lawsuit is now filed, and a court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Advocates file federal lawsuit against Virginia Dept. of Elections after online voter registration shutdown

Virginia voter registration portal restored after fiber cut caused outage

Delegate plans to reintroduce quarantine pay bill next session

Gov. Northam proclaims Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Virginia

Northam announces additional $12M in funding for rent and mortgage relief

Postal Inspection Service offers $10,000 reward in collection box tampering

Gov. Northam announces $30M in CARES Act funding to improve broadband access

Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that $30 million in funding from the CARES Act would be used to improve broadband access in underserved localities.

Lawsuits challenge Virginia’s sexual orientation protections

A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Two Richmond police officers charged with assault for actions during city’s civil unrest

A Richmond grand jury is deliberating 18 sealed indictments related to actions by city police officers during the weeks of unrest in Richmond this summer, according to a statement from Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin.

Governor Northam says he’s recovering from COVID-19

Governor Ralph Northam says he continues to recover from COVID-19. In a Facebook post Monday, he said, “Over the weekend, I developed some mild cold-like symptoms, but I am feeling good and continue to do the work of the Commonwealth.”

Virginians have been slow to use state’s coronavirus app

More than half a million Virginians had downloaded a smartphone app that is designed to alert users if they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.

  House of Delegates budget proposal implements some criminal justice reforms, drops teacher raises

After more than a month of deliberation and debate, House Democrats passed a budget proposal earlier this week. The $134 billion financial plan for the next two years is supplemented in part by CARES Act funding.

State leaders react to President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis

After President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19, leaders in the commonwealth released statements showing their support and well wishes.

Compromise needed to reconcile Marcus alert bills

Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have approved a proposal to establish a statewide system that pairs teams of mental health professionals and peer recovery specialists with police officers responding to mental health crises.

Panel rejects Northam bid to extend disconnection moratorium

The State Corporation Commission has rejected a bid by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to extend a moratorium on utility service disconnections that was set to expire on Monday.

Presidential campaigns focus on Virginia

Virginia is trending blue but recently both campaigns for President of the United States have put a focus on the state to vie for the commonwealth and its 13 electoral college votes.

Ex-Virginia House speaker files papers to run for governor

Former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox has filed paperwork to run for governor in 2021. Cox joins a small field of Republicans looking to enter the race.

Virginia colleges, universities see 1.3% enrollment drop

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia said there are 6,658 fewer students at Virginia’s public and private institutions of higher education this fall. The biggest drop was at community colleges, where enrollment fell 10%.

Lawsuits challenge Virginia’s sexual orientation protections

A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Virginia committee opposes ban on some rally control tactics

A city council committee in Virginia’s capital has voted against a proposal that would ban police from using crowd control tactics such as rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and tear gas on demonstrators.

Virginia House approves budget focused on police reforms

The House spending plan approved Tuesday allocates $28.4 million for a host of criminal justice and police reforms amid national unrest over racial injustice and police brutality

31 prison inmates with coronavirus have died in Virginia

Figures from the Virginia Department of Corrections show that 31 prison inmates with COVID-19 have died since the start of the pandemic.

Virginia GOP says confusion remains on absentee ballot rule

The Republican Party of Virginia says state elections officials have created confusion among voters ahead of the November election by failing to make it clear that a witness signature requirement for absentee voters has been waived.

Virginia lawmakers talk expectations for first Presidential Debate

All eyes will be on Tuesday’s first Presidential debate, including two Virginia incumbent lawmakers running for reelection in November.

  God, Guns, and a Good Time rally gun raffle for Bob Good campaign violated Virginia gambling and election law

A raffle held in the name of Bob Good’s campaign at Saturday’s ‘God, Guns, and a Good Time Rally’ in Fluvanna County appears to have violated state gambling and campaign finance laws.

What you need to know ahead of November’s election

Election Day will be here before you know it, so here is everything you need to know leading up to Nov. 3.

Governor Northam provides recovery update, state COVID-19 trends

On his Twitter page, Governor Northam thanks his fellow friends and Virginians for the ‘prayers and kind wishes’ as he and First Lady Pam Northam recover from COVID-19.

Virginia lawmakers unveil new budget plans amid pandemic

Virginia lawmakers have unveiled proposed budget plans aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus.

Governor Northam and first lady test positive for COVID-19

Governor Ralph Northam and first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Virginia U.S. Senate debate between Warner and Gade gets heated at times

Democrat incumbent Mark Warner and Republican challenger Daniel Gade debated virtually everything from healthcare to when Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the supreme court should be filled.

Study: VCU Medical Center emergency room saw opioid overdose surge during pandemic

According to researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, data showed an alarming surge in opioid-related overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill to end mandatory jail time for assaults on police fails

Virginia lawmakers have killed legislation that called for eliminating mandatory jail time for assaulting a police officer.

Northam announces plans to refinance college bonds

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is announcing a new plan to refinance debt related to construction on college campuses, a move he said will save public colleges $300 million over the next two years.

TSA: 14th gun caught this year at Richmond International Airport

Transportation Security Administration officers say they’ve caught the fourteenth gun of the year at Richmond International Airport.

Warner, Kaine announce more than $13.6M in funding for rail infrastructure improvement

A railroad train line is getting $13.67 million in federal funding to make improvements between Charlottesville and Clifton Forge.

Virginia House bill to guarantee free school meals to students advances to Senate

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill this month to provide free school meals for 109,000 more public school students in the commonwealth.

Senators Warner, Kaine announce more than $9.5M to support Virginia firefighters

Firefighters in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and other areas will be receiving a total of more than $9.5 million in federal funding.

How to track your absentee mail-in ballot in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Elections has launched a new absentee mail-in ballot tracker to allow voters to follow their ballots before receiving them, and after they’re sent back to the registrar, to make sure they're processed.

Gov. Northam casts vote on first day of early voting in Virginia

Governor Ralph Northam has cast his vote on the first day of the state’s 45-day early voting period.

Virginia Supreme Court denies Kanye West’s appeal to get on ballot

The Virginia Supreme Court denied rapper Kanye West’s appeal to be on the November ballot.

Indecision 2020: What to expect about ballot returns on Election Night

Those in the know say November 3 will likely be the beginning, not the end, of the vote count.

Virginia Senate panel kills paid sick leave COVID-19 bill

A Virginia Senate committee has killed legislation that would have required employers to provide up to two weeks of paid sick leave for workers who have to quarantine because of COVID-19.

Richmond, Montgomery mayors discuss changes in former Confederate capital cities

Mayors of both Confederate capital cities, both Black men, discussed their experiences with racism and action taken in their cities during calls for racial justice.

  Governor Northam discusses increased cases in Southwest Virginia, COVIDWISE, and elections

Governor Northam addressed a variety of topics in his briefing Tuesday, including an uptick of case in Southwest Virginia, the COVIDWISE app, and elections.

Watchdog review finds issues with Virginia’s costly incentive programs

Several of Virginia’s publicly funded economic development incentive programs have limited benefit and either need to be overhauled or eliminated, according to a new report published Monday by the state’s legislative watchdog agency.

Virginia lawmakers push to expand police decertification law

Virginia lawmakers are pushing for changes to make it easier to decertify problem police officers and more difficult for them to hop from department to department.

Virginia House of Delegates advance MARCUS alert bill

The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would create teams of mental health service providers and peer recovery specialists to accompany police officers responding to individual crises.

Hacking concerns in the age of virtual learning

"No network is perfect, everyone is going to be vulnerable somewhere.”

Virginia Senate passes sweeping police reform package, votes down qualified immunity roll back

The Virginia Senate passed a sweeping police reform package on Thursday during a special session.

Northam eases COVID-19 restrictions in Hampton Roads

Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the Hampton Roads area will join the rest of the state in Phase Three of reopening.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to file for governor run

Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax plans to make his run for governor official this week.

Bill to expand the definition of a hate crime in Virginia passes in the House

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to increase the penalty for making a false report of a hate crime.

Virginia House, Senate ready for showdown over criminal justice reform

Virginia delegates passed several key changes on September 4, and voted down another, setting up a negotiating showdown with the State Senate on a final proposal.

Officials estimate nearly $4M in damages from protest fires in Richmond

Fires caused nearly $4 million in estimated damages over the first 18 days of protests this summer in Richmond, according to an analysis by city emergency officials.

Landlords react to statewide ban on evictions expiring

A statewide ban on evictions expires Monday after the Virginia Supreme Court denied Governor Northam’s request to extend it.

Gov. Northam signs voter protection legislation

Governor Ralph Northam says he’s signed voter protection legislation including expanding early voting access, paying for return postage on all absentee ballots and allowing absentee ballot drop boxes.

TSA: Man caught with loaded handgun at Richmond airport checkpoint

The Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a man from Fauquier County from carrying a loaded handgun onto an airplane at Richmond International Airport.

Tensions flare as Virginia lawmakers debate police reforms

Tensions flared as Virginia lawmakers took up a series of reforms that Republicans denounced as anti-police and Democrats insisted are long overdue.

Commission suggests changes on how African American history is taught

The Virginia Commission on African American History Education turned in its final recommendations on how African American history is taught in Virginia schools to Governor Ralph Northam on Thursday, Sept. 3.

Judge rules that Kanye West is off Virginia’s ballot

A Richmond Circuit Court Judge has ruled that rapper Kanye West will be removed from the ballot as a presidential candidate in Virginia.

Attorney for Kanye West campaign asks VA AG to recuse himself from ballot access case

An attorney representing the campaign for presidential candidate Kanye West has filed a motion asking Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to recuse himself from representing the State Board of Elections in a ballot access lawsuit.

Northam pushes for overdue electric bill forgiveness

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants Dominion Energy to forgive unpaid residential electric bills by taking $320 million that regulators say the company previously overcharged.

Virginia attorney general plans to run for reelection

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is running for reelection, forgoing a gubernatorial bid he’d previously announced.

AG Herring seeks emergency hearing in lawsuit trying to keep Kanye West off Nov. ballot

Attorney General Mark Herring has filed a motion for an emergency hearing in the lawsuit trying to block rapper Kanye West from appearing on the November ballot.