State Government

In one month, Virginians will head to the polls to elect all 140 members of the House of Delegates and state Senate.  But according to a recent Christopher Newport University survey, only 34% of voters say they have followed news about the General Assembly candidates—even though partisan control of the closely divided Senate is at stake.  Although some of the seats are fiercely contested, a lack of competition throughout the state may be part of the problem.

New JLARC Report: Education Funding Declines

Sep 22, 2015
AP Photo

State spending on public education in Virginia has declined by 7 percent in the last decade… according to a new report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

When adjusted for inflation, spending fell from $10,927 per pupil in 2005 to $10,148 last year.  But the state’s school divisions say their resources were stretched—while under a mandate to increase student achievement.

Va News: Confederate Flags, Voting Teens

Sep 21, 2015

Christiansburg High School has handed out suspensions to students who challenged a policy prohibiting the confederate flag on school grounds...and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor turned Congressman Don Beyer wants 16-year-olds to have the right to pre-register to vote.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link at

Although two federal cases have been on the front burner, the nonprofit organization, OneVirginia2021, has filed a lawsuit in state court that challenges 11 House of Delegates and state Senate districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.  Since the boundaries were drawn by the Democrat-led Senate and the GOP-dominated House, the group says both parties need to go back to the drawing board.

A group of local candidates and the Commonwealth are battling it out in federal court over whether a Virginia election law violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.  At issue is a statute that requires the political party affiliations of federal and state candidates to be listed next to their names on election ballots—while omitting the same for candidates who run for local offices. The candidates are asking the court to temporarily block November’s ballots from being printed until the law’s constitutionality is decided.