Virginia Politics

Government & Policy

State leaders fill regulatory boards that will oversee marijuana legalization


Virginia’s upcoming recreational marijuana market will be subject to intense regulation from state officials, namely, a new regulatory board filled out by Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday.

The Cannabis Control Authority will work to launch Virginia’s new adult-use marijuana market in 2024 and ensure subsequent compliance with state rules. Northam on Monday named five people to the authority’s board of directors, which has legal power over the agency.

Reporting from the Richmond Times-Dispatch »

Statewide Races

With Biden coming to campaign, Virginia’s race for governor takes on national overtones. But where’s Trump?

RICHMOND — Republican Glenn Youngkin likes to tell supporters that a victory for him in the Virginia governor’s race would “send a shock wave” across the country. It would repudiate Democratic rule not only in Richmond, he says, but in Washington as well.

Want proof? His campaign points to the fact that President Biden is coming to Arlington on Friday to stump for Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.

“Terry McAuliffe must be worried about his terrible poll numbers if he’s already calling in political favors this early in the campaign,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said.

“That’s news to me,” McAuliffe said in an interview when told of the comment. “I assume he’ll be here a bunch of times — that’s my goal. This is his first political event since he’s been president, I think that’s a big honor for us.”

View coverage from RT-D »

General Assembly

Virginia hits gas pedal on plans to fund infrastructure with mileage-based fees


Virginia is reconsidering the future of funding for transportation infrastructure, as the rise of electric and more fuel-efficient vehicles has cut into the gas tax revenue that helps pay for those projects.

One option the Commonwealth has started pursuing is a “mileage-based user fee” that drivers would pay depending on how much or little they travel. Drivers could opt into the voluntary system in lieu of paying a mandatory highway user fee that first took effect on July 1, 2020.

State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd District) says the highway use fee — which applies to cars that average at least 25 miles per gallon and is calculated based on the fuels tax at the time of a vehicle’s registration and the average number of miles it travels in the state — is a precursor to Virginia’s planned mileage-based user fee program.

View coverage from Reston Now

Elections 2021

Ciarcia to run against King


Gina Ciarcia, 44, a history teacher at Dominion Christian School, is the GOP nominee for the district, which covers eastern Prince William County, including Belmont Bay and Potomac Shores, Quantico and northern portions of Stafford County.

The seat is held by Del. Candi King, who won a special election in January after Jennifer Carroll Foy resigned to focus on her campaign for governor. King survived a challenge in the June 8 Democratic primary.

Ciarcia, a native of Onslow County, N.C., moved to the area in 2017. She lives in Dumfries and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oral Roberts University.

More from InsideNoVA »


U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue


WASHINGTON —  Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation.

In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that allows him to bring the motion again later.

Earlier on Wednesday, Schumer had described the Senate action as intended to move the legislative process forward on approving a sweeping package of funding for road and bridge projects.

Full story from the Virginia Mercury »


KEY MEASURES: Virginia Department of Health

Dashboard updated 7/22/2021. Case counts reflect what has been reported to VDH by healthcare providers and laboratories.

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VA's COVID decline is officially over

“Statewide, the positivity rate — or percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — has also risen from below 2 percent to 3.4 percent…”

Coverage from the Virginia Mercury

Schools & COVID: most decisions stay local

“…a continued emphasis on local control means that mitigation policies will likely vary from district to district...

Full story in the Virginia Mercury

Business, Economy, & Labor News

VEC's language barriers frustrate immigrants trying to navigate benefits

Thousands of Virginians seek services in languages other than English or Spanish

Full story »

State Offers Grants for New Hire Bonuses

LoudounNow »

Va. new jobless claims edged up last week


Virginia Business »

VA home sales up dramatically in June; homes are selling in half the time

RT-D »

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2021 Virginia General Election