State Government

Law & Crime
6:07 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

FOIA Bills Examined

A number of changes are in the works for Virginia’s open-government laws.  For instance, the General Assembly passed more than a dozen bills earlier this year that would amend the Freedom of Information Act. Other controversial bills were referred to a state advisory council to be studied—and potentially reintroduced in next year's session.

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Government & Politics
12:47 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Developing Flood Protection Plans

U.S. Geological Survey Flickr
Credit Creative Commons

Hampton Roads has twice the relative sea-level rise of other Atlantic coastal communities, and Virginia is stepping up its efforts to address the associated recurrent flooding. While the General Assembly recently ordered updates to the state’s flood protection plan, the Army Corps of Engineers has rolled out a new, proactive strategic framework. It calls on local, state, regional, and federal governments to work together—due to the enormity of the tasks ahead. 

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Government & Politics
5:17 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Bob McDonnell's Appeal Heard by Judges

Former Governor Bob McDonnell speaking to the media.
Credit Anne Marie Morgan

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today (Tuesday) during former Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal of federal corruption convictions… and vigorously questioned both defense and prosecution attorneys.  They focused on two critical issues:  what constitutes “official acts” under federal law…and whether McDonnell was denied due process because potential jurors were never asked whether they had formed opinions after the extensive pre-trial news coverage.

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More Notice for Meetings Needed
5:16 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

"Transparency Virginia" Monitors General Assembly

Richmond First's Michael Jackson discusses the findings with other Transparency Virginia members.

A coalition of nonprofit and advocacy organizations says the General Assembly’s legislative process needs to be more open and clear to the public.  

Members of “Transparency Virginia” attended more than three-quarters of the Assembly’s 101 committee and subcommittee meetings during its recent session.  They found a less-than-stellar record of adequate notice for meetings, recorded votes, and full consideration of bills.

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Privacy v. Security
7:29 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Civil Rights Advocates Concerned About Privacy Bill Amendments

Credit Vince LoPresti/Flickr via NPR

Lawmakers in Virginia passed a couple of bills earlier this year to protect personal privacy. But the governor has amended those measures, and civil rights advocates are furious.

When the general assembly approved a bill limiting the use of drones to spy on citizens, not a single lawmaker voted against it, and Claire Gastanaga, who heads the American Civil Liberties office in Richmond was pleased.

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