Home Virginia Politics Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

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Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, January 26.

*U.S. And India Announce ‘Cooperation’ On Climate Change

*Radical leftists win as Greece rejects austerity (“With millions of voters turning out, the country delivered a historic win to Syriza, a party that could put Greece on a collision course with the rest of Europe.” I’m not a fan of austerity policies, but I see nothing good coming out of this.)

*Krugman: Ending Greece’s Nightmare (“Still, in calling for a major change, Mr. Tsipras is being far more realistic than officials who want the beatings to continue until morale improves. The rest of Europe should give him a chance to end his country’s nightmare.”)

*‘Potentially historic’ blizzard takes aim at Northeast; up to 3 feet of snow

*Obama to call for more wilderness protections in Alaska refuge (“The White House wants more than 12 million acres set aside, but Republicans likely will oppose it.”)

*Inside Hillary Clinton’s 2016 plan (“The Clinton team knows it can’t campaign with the swagger of presumed nominee, because the air of inevitability was so damaging last time around. That said, some advisers are already privately talking up potential running mates, with Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia dominating the early speculation.”)

*Fox news anchor blasts Netanyahu’s ‘dicey’ politics of ‘sneaking’ into Congress for speech

*Editorial: Virginia should expand Medicaid (Right, but Republicans won’t do it, which is one good reason why they need to be voted out of office this November.)

*Terry McAuliffe’s 2015 Va. agenda includes economics, health care

*Legalize it (“State Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, is on what once would have been a fool’s errand: He wants to decriminalize marijuana possession in Virginia.”)

*Virginia lawmakers to revisit ethics legislation (“Another issue to be addressed this week will be gun control, with some 20 bills in the Senate.”)

*GOP votes out Campbell County’s Jon Berkley, chairman of Fifth District committee

*Protect rights of state’s gay employees (“Twenty-one states have passed laws that ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Virginia should be the 22nd.”)

*Editorial: The cost of a felony (“As legislators look for ways to trim the state budget, here’s one idea: Raise the threshold for felony crimes in Virginia.”)

*Virginia’s move to cut emissions the smart way (It’s not “Virginia’s move,” it’s a constructive proposal by Del. Ron Villaneuva that is unlikely to go anywhere in the Teapublican-controlled General Assembly.)

*Va. House bill targets asset forfeitures that fund police (“HB1287, sponsored by Del. Mark Cole, R-Spotsylvania, would end civil asset forfeitures – state legal proceedings that allow police to keep property seized from criminal suspects.”)

*Conservation program may help James River restoration efforts

*Fairfax County turns over investigative materials to lawyers for John Geer family

*D.C. likely to see a mix of rain and snow (“Federal offices plan to open on time, but there will be some snow and wintry mix in the area today and tonight before gradual drying begins.”)

  • Richmond – Today, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated Senator A. Donald McEachin’s bill, sb 768, to require universal background checks. Senator McEachin said, “This is the kind of common-sense safety measure that should garner universal support. We all can and must agree to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, terrorists, and those with violent mental disorders. This legislation does nto take anyone’s guns away, it does not prevent law-abiding Virginians from buying or selling their guns. It merely ensure that buys undergo a quick state police background check to ensure that the individual is not a violent lawbreaker.

    “Majorities of Virginians support legislation of this kind. Unfortunately, too many Senate Republicans are hostage to extreme special interest groups who refuse to even consider the most conservative of gun safety measures.

    “While I am disappointed, I will continue to work for these kinds of measures so that Virginians can feel safe in their homes, their places of work and worship, their schools and their communities,” Senator McEachin concluded.

  • From the Virginia Senate Dem Caucus:

    SENATE REPUBLICANS DEFEAT COMMONSENSE GUN SAFETY MEASURES

    GOP-led Senate Courts of Justice opposes background checks, supports guns on school property

    RICHMOND, VA – This morning, the GOP-controlled Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted in party-line or near party-line votes to defeat bills to close the gun show loophole, institute universal background checks, and keep guns out of the hands of very small children (among many other commonsense gun safety measures). Conversely, the committee voted to advance bills that would allow guns on school property and end the requirement that concealed carriers renew their permits every five years.

    Said Sen. Mamie Locke (D – Hampton), “Today, Republicans opposed efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill, and very small children. Some of them even voted against a bill to bar convicted stalkers and sexual batterers from owning guns. Virginians deserve leaders who will champion their safety – not kowtow to extreme special interests.”

    Said Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico), “Instead of embracing background checks and other measures that would save lives, Republicans voted for laws that make us less safe – laws that would allow guns on school property and remove regulations on concealed carry permits. Republicans today didn’t just ignore the problem of gun violence – they moved us in the wrong direction.”

    Said Sen. Adam Ebbin (D – Alexandria), “Instead of working to enact commonsense reforms that protect women, children, and law enforcement officials – and all Virginians – Republicans chose to support extreme legislation that would allow guns on school property. Virginians expect their leaders to act in the public interest, but that is not what happened today.”

  • From the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition:

    Richmond, VA – The Women’s Equality Coalition today responded to the X-X vote in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee to kill SB772 (McEachin) to strengthen Virginia’s Equal Pay statute.

    “Women should be paid fairly, it’s just that simple,” said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. “It’s outrageous that members of the General Assembly think it’s acceptable that Virginia women are still paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to a man. The wage gap in Virginia begins as soon as a woman enters the labor force and only increases throughout her life, regardless of industry or education level. Women are key breadwinners in six in ten Virginia households which means the wage gap is an obstacle to economic security for hundreds of thousands of Virginia families. Shame on the State Senators who today refused to do anything about it.”

    “Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia is outraged that the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted against SB772, a measure that would have ensured that women are equitably compensated for their work,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “Women make up nearly half of the labor force, and in six out of 10 families, women are the primary or co-breadwinners of their families. Yet, full-time women workers’ earnings are only about 78 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings. Women of color make even less, with African-American women earning 59 cents and Latina women earning 52 cents for every dollar a white man earns. By voting against pay equity, legislators have robbed Virginia women of economic security and full, equal participation in society.”

    “Reproductive freedom cannot be fully realized without meaningful access to birth control, and reproductive freedom is the cornerstone of women’s equality and the foundation for building healthy families,” stated Aisha Huertas Michel, Director of the Patricia M. Arnold Women’s Rights Project at ACLU of Virginia.

    The American Association of University Women of Virginia added, “The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Virginia believes that pay equity and equal opportunity are matters of simple fairness. Apparently, the members of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor think otherwise. In voting against SB 772 today, they voted against equal pay regardless of sex.  The message to Virginia women is loud and clear:  our lawmakers in Richmond do not consider us 1st-class citizens. Virginia women working full-time still make less than 80 cents for every dollar made by men, and the wage gap is worse for women of color. A recent AAUW report – Graduating to a Pay Gap – found that when you account for all factors known to affect pay, women are still paid almost 7 percent less than men just one year after college – and the gap only grows from there.The gender pay gap is real, and it’s about time our lawmakers in Richmond got real about addressing it.”