Fort Lee to Temporarily House Afghan Refugees Who Aided U.S. Military for Operation Allies Refuge

Fort Lee

Virginia’s Fort Lee Army base will temporarily house about 700 Afghan citizens and their families who helped the U.S. military, beginning next week, according to statements from the State Department and the Department of Defense (DOD). The refugees served in roles including translation, and the first group will include up to 2,500 refugees.

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Northam, Virginia Democrats Propose Using $700 Million from ARPA Funds for Broadband Access Expansion

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and top General Assembly finance Democrats are proposing using $700 million of the Commonwealth’s $4.3 billion American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds to make sure every Virginian has access to broadband by 2024.

“It’s time to close the digital divide in our Commonwealth and treat internet service like the 21st century necessity that it is—not just a luxury for some, but an essential utility for all,” Northam said in a press release.

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Virginia Sen. Warner and 20 Other Senators Announce Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, But Biden Says Democrats Still Need to Pass Separate, Larger Proposal

Mark Warner of Virginia

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and other members of a bipartisan team of 21 senators announced an infrastructure plan that includes $579 billion in new spending over the next five years. President Joe Biden also announced his support for the deal on Thursday. Warner and Biden highlighted it as a win for bipartisanship. At the same time, Biden emphasized that he wouldn’t sign the bill without Democrats passing an additional larger infrastructure bill through reconciliation.

“This group of senators, and all the American people, can be proud today, because we’ve reaffirmed once again: we are the United States of America,” Biden said. “I know a lot of you in the press, particularly, doubt that unity is possible, that anything bipartisan is possible. It’s hard, but it’s necessary, and it can get done.”

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Warner, Wexton Highlight American Rescue Plan Opportunities for Broadband Expansion and Small Business Relief

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia-10) made two stops in northern Virginia on Friday and Monday discussing impacts of COVID-19 and financial opportunities from federal relief.

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Virginia Legislators Lay Out Priorities for ‘American Rescue Plan’ Funds

The American Rescue Plan will provide $7.2 billion for Virginia: $2.9 billion allocated for municipalities, and $4.3 billion for the state government, according to a Tuesday announcement from Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. On Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam and Democratic General Assembly leaders released their priorities for the $4.3 billion, including upgrading public health infrastructure, funding the Rebuild Virginia small business recovery plan, adding funds to the Unemployment Trust Fund, modernizing public schools, and deploying broadband across Virginia.

“This is a unique opportunity to invest in Virginia’s long-term future. We intend to be good stewards of these taxpayer dollars, in full compliance with fiduciary guidelines. We reject calls to refuse these federal dollars, and we support the law’s prohibition on cutting state taxes to substitute federal dollars. We embrace this rare opportunity, and we choose to invest,” Northam and the legislators wrote.

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Judge Grants Virginia Employment Commission Brief Extension to Respond to Class-Action Lawsuit over Slow Unemployment Claims Processing

Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.

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Daniel Gade Doesn’t Concede Senate Race to Mark Warner as Vote Counting in Virginia Paused

It’s been a long, hard-fought battle for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat between Republican nominee Daniel Gade and incumbent Democrat Mark Warner. And that battle will carry on just a bit longer.

As ballot counting and reporting by the Virginia Department of Elections paused just past 11 p.m. on Election Night, Gade told supporters that he’s not going to concede the race.

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Republican Congressional Candidates Rally Richmond Area Supporters Ahead of Election Day

Virginia Republican congressional candidates and other conservative politicians gathered at a Chesterfield County restaurant in Midlothian on Monday night to fire up a small crowd of voters before Tuesday’s general election.

Hosted by Virginia Beach attorney, Tim Anderson, the event was intended to energize the crowd ahead of the election and help bolster the campaigns of Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpepper), veteran Daniel Gade and pastor Leon Benjamin.

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Senator Mark Warner and Republican Challenger Daniel Gade to Debate at Norfolk State University

Senator Mark Warner and his Republican challenger Daniel Gade will convene for a second debate at Norfolk State University (NSU) on Saturday.
According to NSU’s press release, the candidates will debate on “racial disparities and inequities in education, healthcare, economic mobility and the criminal justice system.” NSU is the state’s largest “Historically Black College and University” (HBCU).

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