Tommie McNeil

Reporter, Richmond Bureau

Tommie McNeil is a State Capitol reporter who has been covering Virginia and Virginia politics for more than a decade. He originally hails from Maryland, and also doubles as the evening anchor for 1140 WRVA in Richmond.

As a result of not expanding Medicaid in Virginia, a new state Work Group is examining how to offset rising healthcare costs and the money it passed up from the federal government.  

This includes conducting an analysis of so-called “provider assessments”—which could tax hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities for specific services.

The provider assessments would enable Virginia to receive matching federal Medicaid dollars. Analyst Deborah Bachrach Manatt says all of the potential models must follow the same guidelines.

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For years the use of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has been exclusive to Southwest Virginia, but some organizations and communities are vehemently opposed to it. Now, as companies are exploring more energy sources throughout the state, such as natural gas and shale, officials are feeling more pressure to amend regulations that govern the practice. 

State Water Commission Chair and Delegate Thomas Wright says he's in favor of offshore drilling and whatever the state can do to produce more energy—but he also advocates environmental stewardship.

While Israeli leaders have voiced their displeasure about the Iran nuclear deal amidst already strained relations with the U.S., some have wondered if that dynamic has had any impact on Virginia's business relationship with Israel. 

Virginia-Israel Advisory Board Executive Director Ralph Robbins says here, officials don't have to get too much into politics, and economic development transcends any politics at the higher levels.

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Governor McAuliffe has convened a large panel to examine the abolition of parole in Virginia and related state guidelines. But some believe that the Governor's Commission on Parole Review will undo the progress that the Commonwealth has made in reducing its rates of violent crimes.

Those who say Virginia—and Richmond—are still fighting the Civil War need only look at current state policy changes and debates over the Confederate flag and monuments to back up their claims. 

And now while the home of the Confederacy and former slave-trading hub will soon be home to one of the most watched sporting events in the world, some say that as the country discusses racial diversity and equality, the event's organizers will be promoting and embracing the ugliest chapter in American history.  

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