Youngkin Highlights New State Tax Deduction on Military Retirement Benefits

Governor Glenn Youngkin held a ceremonial signing highlighting legislation from State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) and Delegate John McGuire (R-Goochland) that creates a state tax deduction on military retirement income.

“As part of my Day One Game Plan, I’ve pledged to fight for a reduction in military veteran retirement pay taxation, and today, we are delivering on that promise. This is a great step toward making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the country. As we near the anniversary of 9/11, I feel honored to support our service members in this way. I want to thank the legislators for their incredible work as we continue to advocate for our military-connected communities, veterans, and their families,” Youngkin said in a press release Friday.

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State Senate District 28 Candidate Allers: Sen. Reeves Lost VA-07 Nomination After Not Working ‘Nearly as Hard’ as Other Candidates

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) came in third in the recent GOP VA-07 congressional primary. That’s a bad result for a candidate who entered the race with the most name recognition and ended the race with the most money, yet still came in second in Spotsylvania County and third in Culpeper County. Now, Reeves is expected to run for re-election the 28th state senate district, but he already faces an early challenger for the GOP primary.

“I actually thought he was going to perform much better, and so whether it provides an opening for me automatically, I don’t know,” candidate Michael Allers, Sr. told The Virginia Star, adding that it does show a chink in Reeves’ armor.

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Vega Wins VA-07 GOP Nomination, Kiggans Wins VA-02 Nomination

Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega is the GOP nominee to challenge Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is the GOP nominee to face Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02).

“I am honored the voters of Virginia’s seventh Congressional District have chosen me to be the Republican nominee in the general election this fall. As the first conservative Hispanic to win a Republican congressional primary in Virginia, this is a historic moment for Hispanics across Virginia and our nation. I want to thank my family, friends, volunteers, and all the voters who believe in our message of liberty, safety, and economic prosperity,” Vega said in a Tuesday night press release.

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Cruz Stumps for Vega the Day Before VA-07 Primary

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was scheduled to appear twice on Monday with Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega, who is running for the GOP nomination for VA-07 in Tuesday’s primary. Vega is facing five other candidates including Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), who raised the most cash and has the edge in name recognition, Special Forces veteran Derrick Anderson who has out-raised all but Reeves, and Stafford County Supervisor Crystal Vanuch whose fundraising never got off the ground despite her own $400,000 loan to her campaign.

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VA-07 GOP Candidate Anderson Launches New Ad, Democrats Highlight Jarome Bell in VA-02 GOP Primary

VA-07 GOP candidate Derrick Anderson launched his third ad of the campaign on Wednesday, highlighting his Trump-aligned policies on the border, guns, and abortion ahead of the nomination on Tuesday.

“Lawlessness on our streets. Abortion on demand. Joe Biden and the radical Democrats are destroying America,” the ad says. “Conservative warrior Derrick Anderson is ready to fight back.”

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Vega Launches New VA-07 Ad Focused on Rising Crime

GOP candidate for VA-07 Prince William Supervisor Yesli Vega launched her first ad in several months on Monday, with the primary just over a week away on June 21.

“I was leaving church with my family when I received the worst phone call of my life, that my brother had been gunned down and nearly killed by MS-13 gang members. I knew than that I would join law enforcement to protect others in need and defend our community,” Vega says in the ad.

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Reeves Leads in Latest VA-07 GOP Fundraising

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is leading in the latest fundraising reports in the VA-07 GOP primary. In reports earlier this spring, Derrick Anderson led the field, showing him to be a serious contender, but Reeves is now at $680,511, while Anderson is at $599,324, according to data compiled by The Virginia Public Access Project.

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Virginia House, Senate Pass Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Compromise

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Republican-controlled House of Delegates and the Democrat-controlled Senate finally sent a budget compromise for Fiscal Year 2023 beginning July 1 to Governor Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday, but while leaders from both parties praised the budget, individual Democrats and Republicans criticized the compromise for problems ranging from no gas tax holiday to cuts on mental health resources.

House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) told delegates, “It’s been a long haul, but I believe the result is a fiscally sound, bipartisan budget we can all be proud of.”

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VA-07 GOP Race: Reeves’ New Ad, Green Beret PAC Backs Anderson, Vega Says No on Ukraine Aid Packages

In the race for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district, Derrick Anderson received an endorsement from a new PAC, Yesli Vega called for spending on the U.S. border, criticizing a recent Ukraine spending package, and Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) launched his second television ad, highlighting his “anti-woke” stance.

“I don’t mean to trigger any woke liberals out there, but if you step onto my field talking politically correct nonsense, you probably won’t succeed. But Biden and the left celebrate when men win at women’s sports, and when we divide people by race,” Reeves says while video shows him as a football coach.

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Youngkin, Miyares, and Earle-Sears Commemorate Armed Forces Day with Ceremonial Bill Signing

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a proclamation honoring Armed Forces Day and ceremonially signed 23 bills focused on veterans and the military. Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke at the bill-signing held at the Virginia War Memorial on Friday.

“It’s a powerful statement: 23 bills were passed unanimously,” Youngkin said. “I want to thank our veteran caucus for all the work that you do in order to make sure that our veterans are taken care of. These 23 bills are just the beginning. When the time comes for service members to retire, to turn the page on the next chapter of their life, we want them to make their permanent home in Virginia.”

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VA-07 Candidate Reeves Launches TV Ad Highlighting Service, Criticizing Biden, and Saying He’ll Finish What Trump Started

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is launching his first television ad in the VA-07 GOP nomination battle.

“My whole life has been about service: serving God on missions abroad, serving in the army and as a narcotics detective here at home. Putting people first is something Joe Bide doesn’t know a thing about,” Reeves said in the ad. “Inflation, immigration, and Ukraine: he’s got no plan.”

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GOP VA-07 Candidate Crystal Vanuch Wants to Focus on Economy, Border, and Supporting Law Enforcement

Crystal Vanuch is running for the GOP nomination in Virginia’s seventh congressional district, and wants to bring a focus on six issues: the economy and energy independence; border security; constitutional protections in the wake of COVID-19 mandates; public safety; transportation; and veterans issues.

“As soon as I get to Congress, I’m going to be pushing forward specific things to address the economy,” Vanuch told The Virginia Star. “So from a budget perspective, and an American policy perspective, the number one thing I want to do is deregulate. The Biden administration signed executive orders to increase regulation and undid a lot of the Trump-era regulations that loosened up the economy.”

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Virginia State Sen. Reeves Wants GOP Nomination to Restore Congress to Regular Order, Support Military, and Limit Spending

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. Reeves said his experience in the General Assembly gives him the skills needed to enact his priorities: bringing Congress back to following the traditional legislative process, limiting spending, and making sure the military has necessary resources.

“I’d like to see us get back to regular order. I think it’s important for the country that Congress get back to a regular budget, not just a continuing resolution, on funding. We’ve got to get to where we have what’s called a single object rule, which means we can’t have these three- and five-thousand page bills where everything’s stacked into one thing,” Reeves told The Virginia Star.

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Running for Congress, PWC Supervisor Yesli Vega Wants to Focus on Border Security, Government Spending, and the Labor Shortage

Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega was inspired to be a law enforcement officer after a friend was killed and her brother was injured, victims of an MS-13 gang initiation, and she wants to bring an immigration-focused law-and-order approach if she’s elected to Congress. She’s seeking the GOP nomination in the seventh congressional district.

She shared her top priorities with The Virginia Star: “First and foremost, it’s immigration and border security.”

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VA-07 GOP Candidate Derrick Anderson Wants to Focus on Veterans Affairs Red Tape, Agriculture Fuel Costs and Supply Chains, and I-95 Issues

Former Special Forces Green Beret Derrick Anderson is part of the crowded GOP primary race for Virginia’s newly redrawn seventh congressional district. He says he’s a constitutional conservative, and highlights his roots in the district and his role as a political outsider. In recent fundraising results, he raised slightly more than perceived front-runner Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania,) which Anderson said is proof that his hard work makes him the best choice to go against Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) in the general election.

Anderson listed three policy areas he wants to focus on as a congressman.

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Democrats Lead Fundraising in 2nd, 7th, and 10th Virginia Congressional Districts; Kiggans, Lawson, and Anderson Lead in Fundraising for GOP Nominations

In new fundraising results, Democrats are leading in congressional midterm races in Virginia’s second, seventh, and tenth congressional districts. The GOP hasn’t yet picked nominees for those races, but state Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach), Derrick Anderson, and Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson are leading in funds raised for races in CD two, seven, and ten respectively, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Senator Reeves Battles Orange County Circuit Court Judge over Monument Outside Courthouse

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) joined protesters outside the Orange County Courthouse on Monday after Judge David Franzén expressed an intention to call a grand jury to call on the Orange Board of Supervisors to remove the Confederate statue on courthouse property. Reeves is calling for an ethics investigation, saying Franzén’s actions violate ethics codes blocking judges from engaging in political activity.

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As Budget Negotiations Continue, Gov. Youngkin and Virginia Legislators Make Last-Minute Pitch for Pet Proposals

As legislators work towards a budget compromise balancing increased spending with revenue losses from tax cuts, Governor Glenn Youngkin and legislators are continuing to argue for their positions.

“The idea that we have to choose between tax relief and our shared priorities is a false choice. It is critical that we do our part to reduce the tax burden on our citizens, particularly at a time when present receipts continue to be as robust as they are,” Youngkin wrote in a Wednesday Richmond Times-Dispatch column.

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Mike Allers Announces Run for State Senate 2023, with Potential to Face Either Sen. Reeves or Del. Freitas

Mike Allers, Sr. is seeking the GOP nomination for state senate district 28, he announced Tuesday, over a year before the November 2023 election.

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State Sen. Chase Presents Data About 2020 Election to Virginia Attorney General Miyares’ Office; Republicans and Democrats Kill Her Effort to Fund a Full Forensic Audit of the Election

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) told senators Thursday that she had delivered information about the 2020 election to Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office on Tuesday. She pushed several budget amendment that would have spent millions of dollars on investigations both into the 2020 election and on future elections, but her amendments received vigorous opposition from Democrats and feeble support from Republicans.

“We presented quite a bit of data and information, our team did, to the attorney general’s office the day before yesterday, and one of their comments was that they need more time and more resources to do that investigation,” Chase said during debate over budget amendments.

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Virginia House of Delegates, Senate Pass Budget Bills with Competing Tax Policy

RICHMOND, Virginia – The House of Delegates and the Senate have passed their separate budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023. Both chambers debated floor amendments to the bills on Thursday before passing them, but the final versions are broadly similar to the proposals announced earlier this week. Each chamber’s proposal is based on former Governor Ralph Northam’s budget proposal, but the money committees made significant amendments before sending them to be passed out of the House and Senate. The Senate bill contains fewer tax cuts than the House bill, allowing for more spending, while the House bill is closer to the tax policy Governor Glenn Youngkin has called for. The two chambers now enter a process of working to a compromise.

Senate Finance Chair Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) told the Senate that the proposal fulfilled promises made amid spending cuts during earlier hard times.

“In this budget we’ve done that, by making significant investments in education, natural resources,  public safety, and human services. We’re also chipping away a funding cap on support positions for K-12 education over both years of the biennium, embracing increased teacher and state employee pay, and adding to those compensation increases a one-time bonuses for teachers and state employees,” Howell said.

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Senate Committee Blocks Confirmation of Trump EPA Chief to Serve as Youngkin’s Secretary of Natural Resources; Republicans Planning Consequences

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee blocked Governor Glenn Youngkin’s nominee for Secretary of Natural Resources, former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) moved to remove Wheeler’s name from a Senate resolution to confirm the nominees.

“We received a letter from 150 former EPA employees, who suggested that Mr. Wheeler had undermined the work of the EPA and worked against the environmental interests in this country. We think that members of the governor’s cabinet ought to be able to unite us as Virginians, and certainly the secretary of natural resources ought to be one that we have confidence in, in terms of working for the preservation and conservation of our natural resources,” Deeds said.

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State Sen. Reeves Introduced Youngkin Legislation to Cut Virginia Veterans’ Income Tax, Expand Child Care Subsidy Eligibility

Governor Glenn Youngkin is enacting some of his policies by executive order, but he’ll have to work with legislators to get other initiatives passed. Senator Bryce Reeves has introduced two bills focused on the governor’s goal to make Virginia more veteran friendly.

“The bills, carried by Senator Reeves on behalf of Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, signal that Governor-elect Youngkin’s administration values military and veteran families across the commonwealth and recognizes that Virginia must compete to retain its recognition as one of the most military and veteran-friendly states,” a Friday Reeves press release said.

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State Senator Reeves Supporting Lawsuit over Decision to Melt Charlottesville Lee Statue

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is supporting a lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville over the decision to give the Lee statue to a museum that plans to melt it. The lawsuit argues that the city didn’t have a competitive or transparent process to consider offers to take the statue, and additionally argues that melting the statue violates the spirit of state law governing monument removals. According to the lawsuit, the statue has already been delivered to a foundry and broken up, although not yet melted down.

“The City can legally remove, relocate, contextualize or cover the Lee monument, but the General Assembly denied the City authority to alter or destroy it,” the Trevillian Station Battlefield Foundation and the Ratcliffe Foundation state in the lawsuit.

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Virginia Supreme Court Redistricting Map Drafts Shake Up Incumbents

The Virginia Supreme Court’s Special Masters released their first redistricting map proposals Tuesday, receiving mixed reactions over what will be a major shakeup for Virginia incumbents if final drafts are similar to the proposals.

The Court chose Republican-nominated Sean Trende and Democratic-nominated Bernard Grofman to draw the maps.

“These maps reflect a true joint effort on our part. We agreed on almost all issues initially, and the few issues on which we initially disagreed were resolved by amicable discussion,” the Special Masters wrote in a memo. “[W]e took seriously the Court’s command that, although we were nominated by the political parties, we would behave in ‘an apolitical and nonpartisan manner.’ Our duty is owed not to the parties that nominated us, but rather to the Court that appointed us and to the residents of the Commonwealth that it serves.”

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New Virginia Gov. Youngkin Announces More Transition Officials

Glenn Youngkin announced a 113-member list of legislators, law enforcement, business owners, and Republican Party of Virginia officials that will be part of his transition “landing teams” — separate from the transition steering committee he announced earlier in November. The teams will coordinate with Governor Ralph Northam’s cabinet.

“In order to change the trajectory of our great Commonwealth, our transition team is utilizing the vast experience of business owners, law enforcement officials, veterans, healthcare providers, industry experts, and—most importantly—parents to determine how government can begin to serve Virginians better and start delivering on our Day One promises of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs,” Youngkin said in a Wednesday press release.

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Seventh Congressional Race Update: McGuire Decides to Run, Reeves Calls for Reinstatement of Officer Who Donated to Rittenhouse’s Legal Fund

Delegate John McGuire (R-Henrico) has been gradually ramping up his campaign for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district: touting his fundraising totals, asking supporters for money, and beginning to file necessary federal paperwork for the campaign. That’s not a surprise, and McGuire joins the list of candidates entering the race despite a lack of clarity about what the district will look like after redistricting. McGuire, Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) are the heavyweights at this point in the race.

“Over the past year, I’ve had countless Virginians tell me I need to run for Congress to help save our country from the radical left leaders in Washington. Well, after our major win on November 2nd, and a lot of prayer with my wife, we’ve decided it’s our time to get into this race to take back the House in 2022,” McGuire said in a statement to The Virginia Star.

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Virginia State Rep. Amanda Chase Announces Campaign for Congress

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) has announced her candidacy for Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. On Wednesday, she made multiple radio talk show appearances and held a press conference in the Virginia capitol.

“We need a specific type of demographic to beat Abigail Spanberger. I am a suburban mom from Chesterfield, and that determines who wins in the seventh district,” Chase said on the John Fredericks Show. “I know the people of the seventh. I’ve worked for all the winning congressmen. It was my job to get them reelected. And so I know how to do it.”

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Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves Seeking Congressional Nomination to Challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. The region is considered a swing district and Republicans nationally expect to do well in the 2022 midterm congressional elections. The nominee will likely challenge incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), who has warned her party about the risks to moderates caused by progressive messaging and policy.

“Under President Trump our economy was humming, people were working, and government did not dominate or intrude in our lives and livelihood. But under Joe Biden and Abigail Spanberger, an intrusive, progressive government is failing us, badly. Spanberger has failed to make the Seventh District what it should be – the best place to work, live, and raise a family,” Reeves said in a Friday press release.

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Virginia March for Life Kicks off Early Voting

RICHMOND, Virginia — Pro-life advocates marched around the Virginia Capitol in Richmond on Friday, the same day as early voting in Virginia’s elections. Virginia legislators Delegate Emily Brewer (R-Suffolk), Delegate John McGuire (R-Henrico) and Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) spoke to the Virginia March for Life crowd from the steps of the Capitol building.

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Virginia Police Benevolent Association Wants to Ban Ticket Quotas

The Virginia Police Benevolent Association is drafting legislation to ban ticket quotas in all law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth.

“This legislation comes from my state police chapter,” VPBA Executive Director Sean McGowan said. “We have a state police chapter that has 800 troopers that are members. This is their concern, this is not something that Sean McGowan or the committee came up with. This is directly from our members.”

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General Assembly Back in Session, in Person, to Allocate ARPA Funds

RICHMOND, Virginia – The budget bill to allocate $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds passed out of the House of Delegates Committee on Appropriations on Monday, the first step to passing Governor Ralph Northam’s proposals for the money.

But the first day of the second 2022 special session saw legislative gridlock between the Senate and the House of Delegates. The House passed HJ 7003, which establishes the rules and schedule for how the session will operate. When the legislation was sent to the Senate, Senate Democratic leaders introduced three amendments which received broad bipartisan support.

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Northam Seeks Artifacts for New Time Capsule at the Lee Monument, Asks City of Richmond to Not Remove Monument Avenue Pedestals

It’s thought that there is a time capsule in the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond. The Virginia Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether or not the state can remove the monument, and in an announcement earlier this week Governor Ralph Northam said they will open the capsule when the monument is removed. He also invited Virginians to suggest new artifacts for a replacement time capsule to be placed at the site.

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Virginia General Assembly Approves Moving Local Elections from May to November

The General Assembly has passed legislation to move local elections for city, town council, and school board from May to November, starting in 2022. Proponents say the bill will boost voter turnout, especially among working-class voters, while many city officials say the bill is state interference that will lead to greater partisanship in local elections.

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Virginia Legislators Call for New Parole Board Investigation After More Details Leaked About Release of Man Convicted of Killing Police Officer

Legislators are calling for a new investigation into alleged misconduct by the Virginia Parole Board (VPB). Last summer, a leaked six-page report from the Office of the State Inspector General detailed how the VPB violated laws and policies when, in April 2020, it decided to parole Vincent Martin without giving his victims the required 50-day notice. Martin was serving a life sentence for killing police officer Michael Connors in 1979, and was released last June. But a new 13-page draft of the report leaked this week, first reported by WTVR, revealing more details about the alleged misconduct by the board and by former Chair Adrianne Bennett, who is now a judge.

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Virginia Sheriffs Demand Northam Amend Anti-Law Enforcement Language

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association (VSA) sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam on Monday asking him to amend two bills to allow law enforcement agencies to acquire armored military vehicles, which they argue are vital in extreme weather rescues as well as the protection of officers and citizens from gunfire. 

Written by John Jones, VSA executive director, the letter asks Northam to amend House Bill 5049 and Senate Bill 5030, both of which were sent to the governor’s desk last week.

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