Youngkin Confirms He Removed Tax Cuts from Virginia Budget as Olive Branch to Democrats

Glenn Youngkin Budget

Governor Glenn Youngkin confirmed in comments made Wednesday that he dropped his request for tax cuts as an olive branch to Virginia’s Democratic lawmakers, who the governor hopes will similarly drop their requests for tax hikes.

Youngkin maintained that Virginia does not “need to raise taxes” and has “plenty of money in the system” during an interview with WTOP News. He told the outlet that Virginia lawmakers should “press forward with an agreement that we won’t raise taxes, and I will stop advocating to reduce them.”

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Youngkin Vetoes Minimum Wage Hike, Bill to Regulate Marijuana After Virginia Democrats Successfully Kill Potomac Yards Arena

Virginia Gov Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin on Friday vetoed bills to regulate marijuana and raise the minimum wage, which were positioned by Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly as possible bargaining chips in negotiations to build an arena for the Washington Wizards and Capitals in Alexandria, Virginia.

The arena project was officially pronounced dead last week, when Monumental Sports and Entertainment announced a deal with Washington, D.C. to stay in the nation’s capitol for decades on Wednesday.

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Virginia Democrat Leaders Declare Themselves ‘Adults in the Room’ on Budget Debate, Youngkin Admin Acting Like ‘Spoiled Brats’

Virginia Democrats

Democratic leaders from the Virginia General Assembly held a press conference on Monday to discuss the state of negotiations to pass a budget for the commonwealth, raising claims about the governor’s behavior and aptitude during the negotiations.

Various Democratic leaders declared themselves the “adults in the room” during budget negotiations, claimed Governor Glenn Youngkin lacks political aptitude and accused his administration of acting like “spoiled brats” while refusing to respect the separation of powers.

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Virginia Democrats Launch ‘Hail Mary’ Plan to Fund Arena with Casino Revenue Despite Objections by Youngkin, Capitals and Wizards

State Senator Scott Surovell

Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly are reportedly working on plans to build a new facility for the Washington Capitals and Wizards in Fairfax County after the defeat of proposed legislation to build the arena in Alexandria.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) pitched a plan to use the money from a new casino in Fairfax County to build an arena, according to The Washington Post. Surovell’s plan reportedly has the support of the company seeking to build the casino, as well as political consultant Ben Tribbett, who the outlet reported also works for Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

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Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas Acknowledges Youngkin Could Veto Budget, but Calls Potomac Yards Arena ‘Non-Starter’

Lucas Youngkin

Virginia State Senator L. Louise Lucas acknowledged in a Tuesday interview that Governor Glenn Youngkin could veto the budget proposed by lawmakers, but nonetheless insisted any compromise that would fund the creation of the Potomac Yards arena for the Washington Wizards and Capitals is a “non-starter.”

In her Tuesday interview with WTOP News, she acknowledged Youngkin’s remarks indicating “he may have to veto the budget,” calling it “his prerogative.” Still, she pledged, “at no point will I ever be in a position to say I am going to commit state tax dollars for an arena that’s going to benefit billionaires,” calling it “a non-starter for me.”

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Youngkin Reportedly Considers Veto for Skill Game Bill amid Potomac Yards Arena Feud

Youngkin Skill Games

A Monday report suggests Governor Glenn Youngkin could veto legislation legalizing skill games throughout the commonwealth as a casualty of his fight to build the Potomac Yards arena and bring the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards to Virginia.

Noting the governor’s comments last week declaring Democrats’ vision for Virginia is “let’s tax everybody as high as we possibly can, let’s put a pot shop on every corner, and let’s put a slot machine in every 7/11,” the Washington Post reported the controversial skill games bill could be vetoed due to its association with State Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

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Democrat Claims Youngkin Unwilling to Compromise on Legal Marijuana, Minimum Wage to Secure Potomac Yards Arena

Virginia Democrats, Youngkin

A Democrat in the Virginia General Assembly claims Governor Glenn Youngkin has refused efforts to bargain his Potomac Yards arena for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.

Youngkin’s office reportedly told State Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Charlottesville) that the governor has no interest in signing legislation that would create a legal market for marijuana in the commonwealth, even though Virginia legalized the drug in 2021.

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Youngkin Signs 64 Bills, Vetoes Eight as Path for Potomac Yards Arena Approval Narrows

Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin on Friday acted on more than 80 bills approved by the Virginia General Assembly. In total, the governor signed 64 new bills into law, amended 12 and vetoed eight.

Youngkin called the 64 bills he signed into law “bipartisan” and “a clear demonstration of what can be achieved when we set politics aside and work together for Virginians” in a statement.

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Virginia Democrat Wants Youngkin’s Support for Marijuana Bill in Exchange for Potomac Yards Arena

Surovell Youngkin

Another Virginia Democrat suggested Governor Glenn Youngkin will need to approve a partisan bill that would allow the commercial sale of marijuana in order to secure key support for a bill to fund the construction of an arena for the Washington Wizards and Washington Commanders in Potomac Yards.

Virginia Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) told Axios on Tuesday that he has “been very clear” with Youngkin, and explained, “if the governor would like the arena, that cannabis has to be part of the discussion.”

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Youngkin Reportedly Offers Democrats $322 Million in Toll Relief to Secure Potomac Yards Arena

Glenn Youngkin Toll Road

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin reportedly offered Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) more than $300 million in toll relief for Hampton Roads in exchange for her approval for the Potomac Yards Arena to be built for the Washington Commanders and Wizards to move to the commonwealth, according to a Tuesday report.

The governor and his office “have privately pitched a $322 million plan for toll relief in Hampton Roads,” according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which reported the offer the Youngkin administration privately outlined the offer to lawmakers, and noted the total is more than three times the $92 million plan requested by Lucas.

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Gov. Youngkin Stands by Northern Virginia Arena Plans Despite Opposition from Unions

Glenn Youngkin New Stadium

In a statement released Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin committed to see through his plans to bring the Washington Wizards and Capitals to Alexandria, Virginia with a new sports and entertainment district complete with new facilities for the teams to play.

Youngkin made the declaration after a breakdown of negotiations with two major unions resulted in their opposition to the arena, and after Virginia Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) successfully stalled a Senate bill necessary for the arena project to begin and now controls the fate of the House version of the bill after it landed in the Senate Finance Committee she chairs.

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Virginia Democrats Narrowly Pass $15 Minimum Wage Bill Despite Objection by Gov. Youngkin

15 Hour Minimum Wage

Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly narrowly passed legislation that will raise the commonwealth’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. Their votes came despite Governor Glenn Youngkin previously suggesting such legislation was unnecessary.

HB 1 previously passed the Virginia House of Delegates on February 2 in a partisan vote with 51 in favor and 49 against. In the Virginia Senate, the bill’s counterpart, SB 1, also passed along partisan lines, with 21 votes in favor and 19 votes against.

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Virginia Democrat Who Killed Arena Project Also Refused Bill to Stop Campaign Contributions from Dominion Energy

Senator L. Louise Lucas

Virginia State Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) used her position as Senate Finance Committee chair to block a Democrat effort to prevent public utility companies from donating to political campaigns in the commonwealth.

State Senator Danica Roem (D-Manassas) introduced SB 326, which aimed to ban candidates “from soliciting or accepting contributions from any public utility” and prohibit such companies from making political contributions.

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Virginia Democrat Stalls Arena Project After Gov. Youngkin Suggests Party Doesn’t Want ‘A Strong America’

Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Key Virginia Democrats pulled their support from the proposal by Governor Glenn Youngkin to build a new sports complex in Alexandria, Virginia for the Washington Wizards and Capitals, and did not place a bill to advance the initiative on the Senate schedule on Monday.

State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) first indicated she would use her power as the Senate Finance Chair to block the bill in a Saturday post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, in which she slammed Youngkin for suggesting Democrats do not want “a strong America” in his speech at the 28th Mock Convention at Washington and Lee University.

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Virginia Democrats Kill Gov. Youngkin’s Tax Proposal Until at Least 2025

Lucas stuart

Democrats in the Virginia State Senate have beaten the attempt by Governor Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Republicans to cut the commonwealth’s income tax rates and reform Virginia’s sales tax until at least 2025.

SB 632, filed by State Senator Richard Stuart (R-Montross), was continued into 2025 on Tuesday in an overwhelming vote by the Senate Subcommittee on Finance and Appropriations, led by State Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

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Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas Suggests Democrats Will Stop Cooperating with Youngkin if He Vetoes $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Virginia State Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) indicated on Friday that Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) could see Democrats, who narrowly control the Virginia General Assembly, end their cooperation if he vetoes her bill to raise the commonwealth’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

In a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, the senator predicted that Youngkin “will quickly find the cooperative tone from Democrats changing” should the governor veto her minimum wage bill.

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Youngkin Supports Expanding Virginia Literacy Act to Fifth Grade

RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin is asking legislators to expand the 2022 Virginia Literacy Act to fifth grade; the program currently provides literacy curriculum, materials, testing, and intervention for kindergarten through third grades.

“We know that K through third graders, if they’re behind in reading, it’s really hard to catch back up,” Youngkin said at a Thursday press conference at George W. Carver Elementary School. “And that’s why we’re working to extend the Virginia Literacy Act support into fourth and fifth grade. It’s such an important effort for us. And the great thing is this is all being done on a bipartisan basis.”

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Youngkin’s Budget Proposal Includes Item for 15-Week Gestation Limit for Abortions

Governor Glenn Youngkin’s recent budget proposal includes a $50,000 item for adult correctional facilities to offset increased costs from establishing a “15-week gestation limitation for abortion.”

The item aligns with Youngkin’s request that legislators pass a pain threshold abortion ban in 2023. Such a bill will face stiff opposition in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it will likely be sent to the Senate Education and Health Committee, chaired by Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

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Special Election to Replace Sen. Kiggans Expected to Be Close

Governor Glenn Youngkin and Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) have called a January 10 special election for Virginia’s seventh state senate district, filling a vacancy that will be left by Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) after she takes office as representative of Virginia’s second congressional district.

Local nominations for the race will be made this weekend, with a Republican canvass and a Democratic caucus scheduled for Saturday. Two Democrats have filed for the nomination: former NFL player Aaron Rouse who is a Virginia Beach City Council member, and former Delegate Cheryl Turpin who was the first Virginia Democrat to flip a Trump district in 2017, according to her city council campaign website.  So far, only one Republican has filed for the nomination, Navy veteran Kevin Adams, but candidates can file by 4 p.m. Thursday.

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Virginia Republicans Refute Rumor That Reconvened Session Will Include Anti-Abortion Legislation

The General Assembly will reconvene September 7, which has triggered alarm from pro-choice groups who are worried that Republicans may try to introduce pro-life legislation. But a spokesperson for Governor Glenn Youngkin said that the session will be focused on appointing judges and that Youngkin’s pro-life legislation won’t be introduced until the 2023 session.

“Governor Glenn Youngkin is calling the legislature back to Richmond on September 7, and we have a feeling he will try to sneak an abortion ban through the House of Delegates,” REPRO Rising Virginia tweeted Thursday.

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Sen. Lucas Dramatically Scales Up Fundraising, Digital Ahead of Primary with Sen. Spruill

Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) has raised 424.8 percent more money in the last 18 months than in the same period leading up to the previous Senate election cycle, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP).

“I’d attribute that to her being in a highly competitive primary this time and building a much stronger public profile for herself,” CNalysis Director Chaz Nuttycombe told The Virginia Star.

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Youngkin Appears on ‘Face the Nation’ Amid Wave of National Speculation About 2024 Presidential Run

Governor Glenn Youngkin discussed a 15-week abortion ban, inherently divisive concepts, the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex marriage, the 2020 elections, and a potential 2024 presidential campaign in a Sunday appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation after Vice President Kamala Harris’ interview aired on the show. That’s part of a recent wave of national media focusing on Youngkin with speculation about 2024, and comes the day after he spoke to the Nebraska GOP convention.

At the end of the interview, host Robert Costa asked Youngkin if he was mulling a presidential run.

“That’s not a decision that we have even begun to undertake. The reality of course is I’ve been in- I’ve been governor of Virginia for six months, we’ve got an extraordinary amount done. $4 billion tax cuts, a record budget for education, $400 million into law enforcement to raise salaries and keep our community safe. This is where I’m focused,” Youngkin said.

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U.S. Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Makes Virginia an Abortion Haven, Triggers Wave of Political Statements

The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade launched a wave of statements from Virginia politicians on Friday. Abortion remains legal in Virginia with some limitations, and split control of Virginia’s government leaves both Republicans and Democrats seeking to use the issue to motivate their own voter base. Pro-choice protesters held multiple rallies across Virginia on Friday, with more planned for the weekend.

Governor Glenn Youngkin has largely been quiet about abortion, but on Friday he released two statements reacting to the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. Additionally, Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said Youngkin is pushing for a 15-week abortion ban.

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Despite Calls to Withdraw, Earle-Sears Doubles Down in Speech at NRA Conference

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears blamed a lack of virtue for the U.S.’ “present-day woes” in a Friday speech at the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum. After the May 24 shooting and mass murder at a Texas school, Earle-Sears faced pressure to withdraw from the speaking commitment, but instead doubled down, publishing her speech in a Friday press release and excerpts on Twitter.

“They did not want me to come, thinking you are monsters, that you are culpable in the murder of the children,” Earle-Sears’ written remarks state.

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Lt. Gov. Earle-Sears Kicks Off 2022 RPV Advance with Stories from Her First General Assembly Session

HERNDON, Virginia – Republican Party of Virginia faithful are gathered at a Hilton outside Washington, D.C., to build on the momentum of their 2021 wins and help their 2022 congressional candidates. Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears kicked off the Advance on Friday at a reception held by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women.

Earle-Sears regaled the crowd with stories from the recent General Assembly session. Governor Glenn Youngkin once confused Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) with Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton,) leading Lucas to rib Youngkin about it on Twitter.

“And then a curious thing happened: I started mixing her up with Mamie,” Earle-Sears said to laughter. “I would call, ‘The Senator from Hampton, Senator Lucas.’ They got mad.”

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Youngkin Wants to Add Two Marijuana Misdemeanors for Possession of More Than Two Ounces and More Than Six Ounces

Governor Glenn Youngkin has asked the General Assembly to approve creating two new marijuana misdemeanors: a Class Two misdemeanor for possessing more than two ounces and less than six ounces of marijuana, and a Class One misdemeanor for possessing more than six ounces but less than one pound of marijuana, the felony limit. Youngkin introduced the changes in an amendment to Senator Emmett Hanger’s (R-Augusta) SB 591, a ban on selling marijuana products in the shape of a human, animal, or fruit.

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Senate Republicans Force Democrats to Docket Several House Republican Bills

RICHMOND, Virginia – Senate Republicans won a minor showdown on Thursday by forcing several House bills to a full committee hearing although the Democrat-controlled Senate Education and Health Committee had removed the bills from its docket. Among the bills was Delegate Nick Freitas’ (R-Culpeper) bill requiring health providers to work to preserve the life of an infant born alive after an abortion attempt.

Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) protested with a series of questions aimed at Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax). After Norment’s questions to Saslaw, the Senate went into recess while the legislators worked out a deal. Norment, Education Committee Chair Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), and Saslaw were seen speaking to each other and gesticulating during the recess.

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Superintendent of Public Education Balow Publishes Report on VDOE Material Removed for ‘Inherently Divisive Concepts’

Virginia’s new education administration has removed many of the equity training materials that used to be on the Virginia Department of Education website, according to a report from Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow. The removals and the report were ordered by Governor Glenn Youngkin in his first executive order, aimed at removing “inherently divisive concepts” from public education. That was a measure to fulfill a campaign promise to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT), but the order and subsequent actions go beyond material that explicitly references CRT.

“This interim report rescinds certain policies, programs, and resources that promote discriminatory and divisive concepts as directed by Executive Order One. It also contains a sampling of critical race theory-based materials,” Balow wrote in a letter accompanying the report.

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Lieutenant Governor Earle-Sears Breaks First Tie of Her Term

RICHMOND, Virginia – Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears cast her first tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Thursday. Senator Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William) voted with Republicans against SB 137, a bill that would allow defendants in most felony cases to appeal a judge’s discretionary sentence if the judge does not provide a “written explanation that adequately explains the sentence imposed[.]” When the 20-20 vote result was clear, Earle-Sears asked bill patron Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and opponent Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) to come to the dais, where they discussed the bill. Then, Earle-Sears voted against the bill.

“What I wanted to do was to give the patron an opportunity to talk to me about the bill in a way that I may not have, you know, heard before. And then I also wanted to hear the opposing view. I always want to give people the opportunity so that they can make their case. And as I was listening to all sides, what appeared to me was that the bill unfortunately is poorly written,”she told The Virginia Star.

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After Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Ivermectin Bill, Capitol Police Direct Upset Supporters to Leave

Virginia Capitol Police directed upset members of the public out of a Senate Education and Health Committee meeting after the committee killed Senator Amanda Chase’s bill aimed at protecting medical providers who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

“This bill is about a patient’s right to life. A patient has a right to life and should not be prohibited from potential life-saving medication by a hospital, a pharmacy, or other administrative agency. Patients should be able to make decisions about their care and treatment in conjunction with the knowledge and expertise of their treating physician,” Chase told the committee on Thursday morning.

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Portsmouth Settles Sen. Lucas’ Lawsuit Against Ex-Chief Greene, Greene Not Happy With Decision

The City of Portsmouth has settled with Senator Louse Lucas (D-Portsmouth) in her lawsuit against former Chief Angela Greene and Sergeant Kevin McGee, with the city agreeing to pay Lucas $300,000, according to a Greene press release. In June, Lucas sued Greene and McGee for $6.75 million after the police department filed felony charges against Lucas over her alleged involvement in the destruction of the Portsmouth confederate monument in June 2020.

A court dismissed the charges and Portsmouth fired Greene. Lucas’ lawsuit alleges that Greene and McGee committed malicious prosecution, defamation, false imprisonment, and gross negligence. In a statement Friday, Lucas said she’d donate the funds to charity.

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Court Dismisses Senator Lucas Recall Petition

Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John Brown dismissed a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) on Friday. Conservatives in her district had obtained about 8,000 signatures to remove Lucas, alleging misuse of office, but the court sided with Lucas’ legal team who argued that Virginia senators can only be recalled by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Separate provisions in the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Constitution detail processes for removing elected officials, but the Lucas team argued that only the constitutional provision applies to state legislators, and that therefore the court did not have jurisdiction, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

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Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas

After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.

On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.”

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Virginia Employment Commission Lawsuit Reaches Agreement as Gov Northam Orders Faster Claims Processing

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is facing criticism and a lawsuit over delays while processing unemployment claims flagged as potentially ineligible. On Tuesday, in court-ordered mediation, the parties in the lawsuit came to an agreement. The same day, Governor Ralph Northam announced Executive Directive 16, requiring the VEC to add 300 new adjudication officers and make technology upgrades.

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Former Portsmouth Police Chief Greene Sues City, Senator Lucas

Former Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene is suing the City of Portsmouth and Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), along with several other civic leaders and current and former city officials. Former City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton placed Greene on leave in the wake of a June protest at the Portsmouth monument that led to Greene’s department filing felony charges, later dropped, against Lucas. Greene was finally terminated in November. Her lawsuit bundles multiple complaints against multiple figures.

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Bill Giving AG Increased Authority to Investigate Patterns of Misconduct by Police Signed into Law

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law on Wednesday that gives the state attorney general additional powers to investigate unlawful patterns or practices by law enforcement officers and file civil action to stop the misconduct.

Introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), Senate Bill 5024 was one of several bills approved by the governor this week.

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Virginia Wants to Pay Nearly Half a Million or More in Commonwealth Funds to Remove and Replace U.S. Capitol Lee Statue

The Commonwealth will pay nearly $500,000 or more to remove and replace the Robert E. Lee statue in the U.S. Capitol. In charge of the project is the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol, created for the sole purpose of removing the Lee statue from the National Statuary Hall Collection.
The projected costs total $498,500 – funds the commission says could total more or less in the coming months. Their estimate comes from other states’ costs for similar projects.

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