General Assembly

Ethics Questions: Reconsidering the Rules on Gifts

Apr 25, 2016
Creative Commons

The old saying goes there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But what about elected officials? Should they have to track the value of every meal they are given? 

The case against former Governor Bob McDonnell was that he took things in exchange for official actions, a prosecution that will be heard before the United States Supreme Court this week. That’s why Carl Tobias at the University of Richmond Law School says tightening up on rules about gifts no-brainer.

Silveira Neto, Creative Commons

Many of Virginia’s lawmakers own significant stock in some of the companies that do business with the state including Dominion Power and Altria.

Even as former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell waits for the Supreme Court to hear his appeal in a bribery conviction, lawmakers in Richmond are trying to chip away at new ethics rules created in the wake of that scandal. But current Governor Terry McAuliffe is proposing amendments.

Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Book Bill

Apr 5, 2016
Wikimedia Foundation

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is vetoing a controversial measure that would have required schools to notify parents when teachers planned to use “sexually explicit materials." It’s an effort that began when a Fairfax County parent got upset because her child was reading Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer-prize winning Beloved.

M. Spencer Green/AP

California made headlines this week as lawmakers there announced a deal to slowly raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But here in Virginia, that number is still $7.25, tied to the federal level -- and that's not likely to change anytime soon.