Government & Politics

Surveillance Legislation
6:06 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Virginia ACLU Urges Lawmakers to Reign In Surveillance Powers

Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

While the Virginia ACLU applauds Governor McAuliffe's signing of a number of bills this past legislative session, the organization opposes his amendments to several bills that had aimed to reign in the government’s powers of surveillance--and which passed the General Assembly overwhelmingly.  The ACLU is asking state lawmakers to reject the amendments when they soon return to Richmond.  

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Government & Politics
8:08 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Effort to Achieve Federal Recognition for Virginia Tribes Gains Traction

1624 Map of Native American tribes and their locations in Virginia.
Credit Virginia Digital Map Library, http://www.usgwarchives.net/maps/virginia/

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. 

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Federal Budget
6:37 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Virginia Lawmakers on Sequestration

Flickr user Greg Willis
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.

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Virginia Festival of the Book.
9:40 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Congressional Gridlock-Busting Plan Outlined by Author

Jason Grumet heads the non-profit Bipartisan Policy Center.
Credit BPC

Washington's partisan political gridlock can be unlocked, according to one of the speakers at the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book.

"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.

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Government & Politics
4:35 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Governor Considers Bill Expanding the State's DNA Database

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.

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