State Government

VA to Stop Issuing Confederate License Plates

Jun 23, 2015

 Governor Terry McAuliffe wants the Confederate flag banished from all Virginia license plates.

He references the killings at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina…as well as a Supreme Court decision that states can limit the content of license plates.

Virginia vanity plates include one for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which features the battle flag in the logo.

  Several years and one administration ago, we reported on some of the challenges pertaining to veterans’ homelessness.  Since then, new leaders have vowed to do all they can to eliminate it within the Commonwealth. 

Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and Retired Admiral John Harvey credits Governor McAuliffe for the initiative--and says his agency hit the ground running. One of the greatest challenges veterans describe is not receiving benefits because they don't have the proper ID.  Harvey says in some cases, they don't meet the criteria.

Governor McAuliffe with Integrity Commission Members

While the General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year to toughen Virginia’s ethics laws, a gubernatorial panel insists that those reforms are only the beginning.  At its June meeting, the Governor's Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government held a wide-ranging discussion about what to target next for reform. 

The commission also expressed interest in delving into Virginia’s one-term limit on governors, merit-based judicial selection, and independent redistricting.

Reactions vary to a Democratic lawsuit challenging Virginia’s voter photo ID law—based primarily on which side of the political spectrum the stakeholders fall.  

Democrats argue that this is another attempt to disenfranchise minority and other voters, while the GOP and the law’s chief sponsor say it's designed to protect the integrity of the voting system. But political observers are wondering how this lawsuit will progress—and what's the best course of action for the state’s Democratic Attorney General.

Abortion clinics in Virginia thought they might have to close, since they were not able to meet tough new rules.

Under Governor Bob McDonnell, the Virginia Board of Health approved new requirements for abortion clinics – forcing them to follow the same rules as hospitals or shut down.  Supporters of the change said it was needed, because clinics posed a danger to women’s health.  This month, the state finished a routine semi-annual  inspection of all 18 facilities and found no serious flaws.  Erik Bodine is director of the Office of Licensure and Certification.