State Government

There were some electoral upsets yesterday as Virginia voters in 48 localities cast their ballots in state and local primaries.  Among the most contested were 18 elections to nominate candidates for the General Assembly—including challenges to nine incumbent Senators and Delegates. 

Among the Republicans, Chesapeake Senator John Cosgrove and Augusta Senator Emmett Hanger handily won.  But long-time Chesterfield Senator Steve Martin was defeated by Amanda Chase. 

Democratic Senator Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg prevailed over Delegate Joe Preston.  

It's been two years in the making, but now a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health and Ancestry has allowed the state to digitize the Commonwealth’s vital records-including some that were believed to be lost forever.

State leaders say this is huge: more than 16-million death, birth, and marriage certificates - as well as divorce decrees - have been scanned and digitized and can now be accessed for genealogy and family history research.

Governor McAuliffe has accelerated the timetable set in a 2007 state law that requires a voluntary 10% reduction in state energy consumption—by moving its target date to 2020. 

Now an expert panel established to help achieve that goal has concluded that it needs additional data just to clarify how that should be measured.  It also says the responsibility does not just rest with electric utilities to boost their own conservation efforts.

The Strengths and Challenges of Virginia's State Parks

May 26, 2015

Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources, Molly Ward, recently finished visiting all 36 state parks as part of a fact-finding tour.

FOIA Bills Examined

May 20, 2015

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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