An effort to achieve federal recognition for six Virginia Indian tribes has started to wind its way through Congress again. Supporters in the state have failed to get the legislation passed for decades.
When Virginia was settled more than four hundred years ago, the settlers found the region was already populated with Native Americans. Those tribes aren’t recognized by the US government even though they’re recognized by the British crown, as Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine explains.
The House and Senate are set to debate the nation’s budget this week and it has huge implications for the region. Virginia lawmakers are fighting to keep those indiscriminate budget cuts known as sequestration at bay.
"The good news is that it doesn't involve a Constitutional convention or a Mars invasion."
That's Jason Grumet, whose new book, City of Rivals, proposes some intuitive solutions, such as more time for Congress to hang out together. And some not-so-intuitive solutions, such as bringing back earmarks, which Congress banned five years ago.
One recently approved bill that’s still under review by Governor McAuliffe arose from the case of murdered UVa student Hannah Graham—and was championed by Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding. The bill would require collection of DNA from people convicted of certain misdemeanors….with their DNA added to the state’s criminal database. The governor had raised some objections to the legislation while the General Assembly was still in session.
With more than $40 million in sales, Virginia is the third largest exporter of agricultural goods to Cuba - after Georgia and Louisiana. Some lawmakers hope to normalize trade relations - but some feel it’s best to maintain our distance.
After recently venturing down to Cuba, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner describes how the embargo hurts Virginia farmers.