Capitol Square News

Northam requests extension on utility shutoff moratorium

Governor Ralph Northam is again asking the State Corporation Commission to extend the moratorium of utility service disconnections.

Virginia colleges, universities see 1.3% enrollment drop

Lawsuits challenge Virginia’s sexual orientation protections

Virginia committee opposes ban on some rally control tactics

Virginia House approves budget focused on police reforms

31 prison inmates with coronavirus have died in Virginia

Virginia GOP says confusion remains on absentee ballot rule

Continued Coverage

Virginia lawmakers talk expectations for first Presidential Debate

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

What you need to know ahead of November’s election

Governor Northam provides recovery update, state COVID-19 trends

Virginia lawmakers unveil new budget plans amid pandemic

Governor Northam and first lady test positive for COVID-19

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

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

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

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

How to track your absentee mail-in ballot in Virginia

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

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.

Va. DMV extends validity of some licenses, IDs, permits

Virginia residents with driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and IDs that originally expire in August, September, and October now have an additional 60 days to renew.

AG Herring asks Virginians for information on impacts due to USPS changes

Attorney General Mark Herring is asking Virginians and businesses to share any impacts related to changes the Trump Administration has made to the U.S. Postal Service.

  Gov. Northam delivers coronavirus update

Governor Ralph Northam is providing an update on matters related to the coronavirus in the commonwealth.

General Assembly passes bills to make absentee voting easier

Millions of dollars could be on the way to make sure your vote is counted.

Over 100 VCU students, employees test positive for COVID-19

Student Health Services and Employee Health at VCU reported that over 100 students and employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Injunction barring Richmond from removing monument tossed

The Virginia Supreme Court has tossed out an injunction handed down by a Richmond judge that barred the city from removing the only remaining Confederate monument owned by the city.

Gov. Northam announces launch of new African American history course

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that students in 16 Virginia school divisions will be able to increase their understanding of African American history by participating in a new high school-level elective course this academic year.

Richmond Public Schools working on Chromebook conundrum

Richmond Public Schools (RPS) says about 10,000 additional Chromebooks will not be delivered on time due to supply and demand.

Virginia Senate approves changes to police assault law

The Virginia Senate has approved legislation that would eliminate a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for assaulting a police officer.

‘COVID is still out there’: Cases in Richmond slightly increase; monetary relief available to businesses impacted by pandemic

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Richmond City Health District Director, Dr. Danny Avula, said over the last 10 days the number of positive coronavirus cases across the city has slightly increased.

Court: School’s transgender bathroom policy unconstitutional

A federal appeals court has ruled that a Virginia school board’s transgender bathroom ban is unconstitutional and discriminated against a transgender male student.

Virginia lawmakers advance bill on police misconduct

(AP) - Virginia lawmakers have advanced legislation designed to make it easier to decertify police officers who commit misconduct and make it more difficult for them to be hired by other police departments.

Virginia lawmakers advance absentee voting measures

Virginia lawmakers are advancing proposals aimed at making absentee voting easier amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paid sick leave bill shot down in Virginia State Senate committee

A bill requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for employees in public health emergencies was easily defeated by a bi-partisan majority in a Virginia State Senate committee this week.

Report: Lack of diversity in conservation police agencies

A state inspector general’s report has found that law enforcement departments within Virginia’s conservation and marine resources agencies are overwhelmingly white and male.

Alert system for mental health crises advanced by lawmakers

A Virginia Senate committee has approved legislation that would establish an alert system to dispatch mental health providers along with police to help stabilize people in crisis situations.

Virginia Democrats, Donald Trump Jr. discuss 2020 elections

Party activists on both sides of the aisle say Virginia is still a battleground state, despite trending blue in recent elections.

Charlottesville housing advocates back eviction bill despite Va. Senate delay

Action on a bill that would ban evictions until May 2021 was delayed until a later date by a Virginia State Senate committee.

Richmond City Council votes to revisit mayor’s gun-control measure

Richmond City Council voted to revisit Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposal of a new gun-control measure during a special meeting in September.

Virginia Department of Education expands online learning system

The Virginia Department of Education says that every teacher in public schools across the commonwealth will be able to host virtual classes through its online learning system, Virtual Virginia.

McAuliffe files paperwork to run for governor again but says no decision made

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has filed paperwork to run for his old job next year but says he still hasn’t made a decision yet. McAuliffe filed paperwork with the Virginia State Board of Elections, listing himself as a Democratic candidate for governor.

Virginia to add $300 in federal funds to unemployment

Virginians on unemployment will get an extra $300 on top of what the state pays out.

Virginia Senate puts off vote on eviction moratorium

The Virginia Senate has put off a vote on legislation to block evictions until next year, a measure supporters say is a vital protection for renters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Legislators spar over how they should be paid for special session

Legislators are at odds over how a daily stipend would work for Special Session.

Richmond Mayor responds to calls for monument removal contract investigation

Richmond City Councilor Kim Gray, who is running against Stoney for mayor this fall, sent a letter to the Richmond City Commonwealth’s Attorney asking for an investigation, and if appropriate, any potential criminal charges.

Stoney gives update on COVID-19 in Richmond, urges families to take survey on childcare needs

Mayor Levar Stoney joined the heads of Richmond Public Schools and the health department to address the city’s response to COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon.

80% of Richmond’s virus cases are among Blacks and Latinos

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that COVID-19 runs rampant in close quarters and heavily impacts low-wage workers who lack paid sick leave and adequate workplace protections.

Charlottesville attorney pushes for General Assembly, courts to act on evictions

With the Virginia legislature back in session, many are calling on lawmakers to deal with an eviction crisis that has been complicated by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia panel approves sweeping police reform bill

A sweeping police reform bill that would eliminate the use of no-knock warrants, limit the use of chokeholds and make it easier to decertify officers for misconduct has won approval from a key Virginia legislative committee.

Northam signs order to mitigate spread of COVID-19 in state-operated psychiatric hospitals

Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia’s state-operated psychiatric hospitals.

General Assembly Special Session gets underway in Richmond

Tuesday marked day one of the General Assembly’s special session in Richmond.

Groups rally downtown to protect gun rights, rent relief, among other issues

Multiple groups are marching in rallies to protect gun rights, defunding the police, rent relief and school funding in downtown Richmond on the first day of the General Assembly’s Special Session.

Northam: Budget shortfall could have been worse, General Assembly special session gets underway

Facing a $2.7 billion revenue shortfall over the next two years, Northam told a committee of state lawmakers Tuesday it could have been worse.