IT’S BEEN A LONG WEEK. And not to be dramatic, but emphasizing that first sentence was particularly important today. The usual hustle and bustle of the holidays Session prep had some added (and very unwelcome) excitement the past several days, as the state’s Division of Legislative Automated Systems (DLAS) was hit with a ransomware attack. Bill drafting and referral for 2022 is still mostly inaccessible, and parts of the state budget portal remain unavailable.
Certainly no pressure there, with just under four weeks until Session convenes.
An unexpected resignation in the House was also announced, meaning that one district will start the legislative session without a Delegate. Outgoing Gov. Northam will soon be setting a date for the special election, to fill the seat. And for the freshman delegates already planning to come to Richmond: Speaker-designee Gilbert has been gradually announcing committee chairs — providing all members, new or returning, with the opportunity to set their expectations accordingly.
Look for a “Weekly Brief” newsletter early/mid next week, before we take a few days off for the holidays to relax…and to finish reading through the $158 billion budget that was introduced yesterday.
RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Six new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Southwest Virginia Tuesday, and data from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) show the region’s rolling seven-day average of new COVID deaths is at its highest point in almost a month.
A state watchdog agency found that wide disparities remain in Virginia’s juvenile justice system, even as the number of children involved has declined dramatically in the last few years.
Entheogenic plants and fungi, commonly known as psychedelics, are federally classified among the most dangerous illicit substances, along with heroin and ecstasy. But some advocates and physicians say that categorization is long outdated.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Proposed redistricting maps under consideration by the Virginia Supreme Court would constitute a significant reduction in the number of majority Black districts in the General Assembly.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The General Assembly’s Cannabis Oversight Commission has agreed to recommend that Virginia speed up the timeline for retail sales of recreational marijuana to 2023.
The office of Attorney General Mark Herring filed a brief last week seeking to throw out a lawsuit arguing the Commonwealth should conduct elections for the House of Delegates again, since the districts vary greatly in population.
irginia businesses and trade groups are in dire need of skilled, credentialed experts of all sorts as they strive to meet the state’s infrastructure needs and fill thousands of job openings.
Since 2016, Virginia has lost out on 42,000 direct jobs and over $75 billion in capital investment, due to the lack of ready sites or available buildings, said Jason El Koubi, executive vice president at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
A suite of projects intended to bolster the region’s stake in the autonomous and electric vehicle sectors is in the running for up to $100 million in federal funding, Virginia Tech said Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released $163 million in CARES Act emergency aid to help Virginia’s health-care workers and patients as they combat COVID-19, Rep. Abigail Spanberger announced Wednesday.