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
4:20 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Money Committees Report Revenue Bump

There’s good news from the Governor and the heads of the General Assembly’s money committees. Despite dealing earlier with a significant revenue shortfall, the state is now seeing a $338-million revenue bump from withholding through corporate income tax and insurance premiums.

It amounts to $162 million more over the biennium after a $176 million  deposit into the Rainy Day Fund. Governor McAuliffe says it provides a little extra money to spend as the budget is crafted.

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General Assembly 2015
8:41 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Senate Passes 'Ban the Box' Bill

Flickr user Flazingo Photos
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Virginia State Senate has passed legislation that would impact state hiring of applicants with criminal convictions. The "Ban the Box" bill would allow to people who were charged or convicted of crimes to advance further in the employment vetting process before a prospective employer could inquire about any criminal history. 

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General Assembly 2015
8:24 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Charter School Bill Clears State Senate

Flickr user Ryan McGilchrist
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

After a very spirited debate in the state Senate, charter school proponents win a major victory. Senators passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to give the Board of Education authority to establish charter schools in Virginia. 

Bill supporters argue that Virginia has only seven charter schools, but a far greater number of jurisdictions need more options for students with substandard public schools. Senator Tom Garrett agrees that socio-economic status should not determine a child's quality of education.

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General Assembly 2015
8:22 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Proposed Bill would Reign In Lawmaker Spending on Private Law Firms

Senator Mark Obenshain
Credit HuffingtonPost.com

It’s not unusual for Attorneys General or Governors to hire counsel from private law firms when they believe they need special expertise or legal services. Now a bill to rein in spending and hold both officeholders accountable for outside counsel they seek on the taxpayer's dime has passed the State Senate. They also would have to explain why the special counsel IS in the public interest before entering into a contract.

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General Assembly 2015
7:59 am
Fri January 30, 2015

One Gun Control Bill Survives General Assembly Scrutiny

Virginia lawmakers have been mulling over a series of gun bills-and only one gun-control measure has survived a Senate Committee.  While the bill has lost some of its teeth, its sponsor says it nevertheless makes progress in the fight against domestic violence. 

Senator Barbara Favola's bill was originally defeated. But a Senate Committee reconsidered it and passed a watered-down version that was sent to the Finance panel.

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