Government & Politics

An in-depth look at the issues and policies of our government from the local, state and national levels.

Government Shutdown Threats Continue

Nov 16, 2015

  If you thought the threat of a government shutdown was taken off the table, think again. Virginia may once again get caught in the crosshairs of a partisan battle in Washington. 

Before Speaker Boehner retired he worked with President Obama to reach a two year budget agreement. That agreement is the blueprint, but it didn’t come with any dollar bills attached to it. Now that lawmakers have less than a month to actually fund the government, conservatives are trying to use the bill to undo the president’s initiatives, like the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Last week the U-S House was able to pass a long term transportation bill which has businesses across the commonwealth feeling optimistic.

Congress hasn’t passed a long-term transportation bill since 2009. That’s left localities and states reeling from uncertainty as lawmakers have cobbled together dozens of short-term patches. Ask any Virginia lawmaker and they’ll tell you they’ve been getting pressured by local business to pass a long term transportation bill. Here’s Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith.

Virginia's favorite NFL team is making the case that its nickname and logo are no more offensive than many others that are allowed to stand....and some international students at Virginia Tech are among those accused of using fraudulent test scores to obtain student visas. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on

Absentee Voters

Nov 2, 2015

State and local election officials are hoping to see a lot of people at the polls Tuesday.  But must experts believe only about 23-to-29 percent of those registered will vote will show up.

Some have already voted…they cast absentee ballots.

The State Board of Elections says it’s received more than 55,000 absentee ballots so far. That’s close to the same number that came in four years ago, in the last off-year election like this.

 It’s an adage of American voting behavior that, the older you are… the more likely you are to vote.  Student activists in Virginia are trying to change that, but it isn’t easy. 

Julia Billingsly, is Director of Virginia 21 at Virginia Tech, a non-profit, non-partisan group active at all 13 public, 4-year colleges in Virginia.

For months, she’s been asking everyone on campus, who will listen.  And she kept at it until the very last day before the deadline to register, the very last hours in fact, she was in the Squires Student Center.