Virginia’s hospitals are required to treat anyone who comes to their emergency rooms, and they’re spending about $600 million a year on charity care. Meanwhile, state lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, and the federal government is cutting payments for Medicare. Unless something is done, some hospitals say they may be forced to close.
Patricia Springer owns a small business – Moonbeam Massage. She’s happy to help people who’ve suffered an injury or illness, but since the great recession began, business has been slow.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced the state will give $1.7 million to save 14 properties -- farms, forests, wildlife habitat and historic areas rather than allow them to be developed. That adds 5,700 acres to Virginia’s conserved lands.
The agenda President Obama is laying out at the start of this new Congress is being rejected by Virginia Republicans who now have more power at the Capitol than Democrats.
While Republicans were just swept into power running against President Obama’s economic policies, the president told lawmakers in last week’s State of the Union address that the economy is soaring again because of his policies. He’s now hoping to expand on that progress through things like offering two years of free community college and tax credits for child care.
A coalition of Virginia civil rights and community organizations marched in downtown Richmond over the weekend.
In advance of the General Assembly meeting Tuesday, the march called for several legislative reforms including an independent review board to handle issues of police misconduct and the implementation of police body cameras.
While many in opposition to body cameras site both cost and privacy concerns, the majority of protesters there believed the transparency of cameras would help rebuild trust between communities and law enforcement.
A state senator is proposing what sounds like a good deal for consumers – an 8-year freeze on rates charged by Virginia’s largest electric company.
Frank Wagner says he introduced the measure so Dominion Power wouldn’t pass the costs of meeting clean air requirements on to its customers, but Attorney General Mark Herring says the measure might actually deprive consumers of rebates. Mike Kelly speaks for the attorney general.