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.

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General Assembly
4:32 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Measuring School Performance

Should they be signed into law by Governor McAuliffe, bills recently passed by the General Assembly would modify some of the scrutiny of school systems that meet state standards.  The state would also create a different method to inform parents of how well those schools are doing.

After educators lambasted the state's A-F grading system created a few years ago, lawmakers crafted a new method to measure school performance. Bill sponsor Delegate Tag Greason says this gives the Board of Education authority to redesign a more comprehensive school performance report card.

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General Assembly
4:24 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Lawmakers Build on Education Reform Bills

A large number of public education reform bills made it through this year's General Assembly session.  The sponsor of many of the House bills says lawmakers wanted to build on last year's successes with the SOL reforms.

Delegate Tag Greason says while Virginia schools spend a lot of time preparing students to go to college, they haven’t placed as much emphasis on those going directly into the workforce. That's why one of his bills aligns career and technical education certification with national requirements.

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General Assembly
4:37 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Virginia Lawmakers Pass State Budget

No post session per diems, last-minute deals, and burning of the midnight oil this year. While the votes were not unanimous, Senate and House lawmakers have passed a state budget that includes pay raises for state employees, college faculty, state police, and teachers.

House Minority Leader David Toscano argued that law enforcement, school faculty, and other employees are still without the support they need.

"The budget doesn't go far enough, but it is a process and we'll continue to make it---push to make it better, not just this year, but in years ahead."

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General Assembly
4:18 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Tighter Guidelines on Home Daycare Providers

Recent tragedies where children have died under the care of unlicensed daycare providers have prompted the General Assembly to pass measures to strengthen Virginia’s licensing guidelines.

Delegate Bob Orrock's bill would require licensed home daycare providers to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. His bill also lowers the requirement for licensure from 6 children to 5. A Senate version leaves it at 6, but counts the provider's own children.  Orrock says some proposals have been far-reaching.

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12 Months & 1 Day
4:24 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Maureen McDonnell Sentenced

Credit File Photo

Virginia's former First Lady spoke publicly for the first time since both she and her husband were indicted and subsequently convicted on federal corruption charges. Tommie McNeil explains, her testimony not only elicited a tearful reaction from some in the courtroom, but also prompted the judge to give her a better sentencing deal than her husband’s. 

Maureen McDonnell expressed remorse and apologized for "letting the serpent into the mansion"—referring to Jonnie Williams, the businessman whose testimony led to the convictions of both Maureen and former Governor Bob McDonnell.

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