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Wednesday News: Clinton and the Neo-Fascist Move Big Step Closer to Nominations; Virginia Veto Session Today


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 20. Also check out the victory speech by Hillary Clinton, who moved a big step closer to the Democratic presidential nomination and the White House last night. Go Hillary! 🙂

  • Video: Rick Santorum (and by proxy, the rest of the anti-Muslim Republicans) shown to be utter ignoramus by college student. http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/rick-santorum-gets-humiliated-by-college-student-after-revealing-total-ignorance-of-islam/


    • True Blue

      Loved, loved, loved this video! But, you know. . . those liberal elitists, intellectuals, fair and open-minded citizens, lovers of equality, defenders of science, etc. It ties well with the lying as a business, post-truth creating GOPropaganda piece in Salon; Santorum will most likely blame the lame-stream media or this Muslim student for misrepresentation, and not his own ignorance. The high school debaters who are boycotting the state tournament should view this. I’m looking forward to reading Rabin-Havt’s Lies Incorporated and currently “enjoying” Poison Tea. Telling.

  • Video: Bernie Sanders statement after defeat in NY


  • Arlington County Board Adopts FY 2017 Budget

    The Arlington County Board today adopted a $1.2 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 that includes a half-cent cut in the real estate tax rate.

    “This is a good budget,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “Even as our population and school enrollment continue to grow, and our office vacancy rate remains high, the Board was able to put together a budget that preserves our community’s values, gives schools more funding than they requested, and adds funding for public safety, economic development and other key services – with a slight decrease in the tax rate.”

    The Board voted 5 to 0 to adopt the Budget. Fiscal Year 2017 begins July 1, 2016. (Item No. 48 A-M on the agenda for the April Recessed County Board Meeting.)

    Lower tax rate, more money for schools

    The County’s General Fund Budget will increase 3.3 percent from the FY 2016 Adopted Budget. The County’s total funding of Schools for FY 2017 will be $466.9 million, a 3.3 percent increase for FY 2016, and $1.1 million in one-time and ongoing funding above the School Board’s funding request.

    Tax and fee burden to rise 2.5 percent

    Arlington’s real estate tax rate remains the lowest in the region due in part to the half-cent tax rate reduction adopted by the Board. Still, the average Arlington homeowner will see their property taxes rise due to an average increase in residential real estate assessments of 2.8 percent. The average homeowner will see their tax and fee burden rise from $7,640 to $7,829 – a 2.5 percent increase. That translates to about $16 a month or $189 a year.

    Increased funding for Arlington Public Schools

    The Board collaborated with APS to meet the challenges posed by growing enrollment and the need to expand existing schools and build new ones. The Board provided $464.5 million in ongoing funding and $2.5 million in one-time funding for Schools.

    Investing in economic development

    The Board added $1.5 million to funding for economic development. Funding will be used to focus on lowering the commercial vacancy rate to support the commercial real estate market in Arlington.

    Supporting public safety

    The Board approved the largest increase in public safety funding in years, adding five new deputy positions and an American with Disabilities Coordinator (ADA) in the Sheriff’s Office; six patrol officers in Police; eight firefighters to complete 4-person staffing on all engines, and four additional firefighters to address peak-time medical transport needs. The new positions reflect the County’s population growth and increasing demands on public safety.

    The additional firefighters will enable the department to meet the national standard for safe staffing levels for the remaining two of its 14 fire suppression units. The department also will add a peak time medic unit that will operate seven days a week during daytime hours when calls for emergency medical services are highest.

    The Police department’s six new officers will help ACPD meet its core mission responsibilities. The Sheriff’s Office’s five new positions will improve safety and security at the Courthouse and the Detention Center, bolster its administrative staff and add a uniformed American with Disabilities Act coordinator.

    More funding for affordable housing

    The Board added funding to what the Manager had included in the Proposed Budget — from the proposed $12.5 million to $13.6 million for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), the revolving loan account that is the County’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable housing. The Board also funded the housing grants program which helps with rent assistance for qualified low income tenants.

    As part of its effort to increase government transparency, the Board added funding to continue livestreaming Board work sessions and certain advisory commission meetings. The Board also added modest funding to continue the County’s open data efforts.

    Employee compensation

    The Board accepted the Manager’s proposals to fund merit pay increases for employees, increase the living wage to $14.50/hour, and fund the Live Where You Work program and tuition reimbursement.

  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Applauds Final Defeat of Defunding Bill

    House Democrats stand for women’s health

    Today, the House of Delegates voted 34-66 to sustain the Governor’s veto of House Bill 1090. Part of a broader political attack on women’s health, the bill targeted funding that allows Planned Parenthood to provide 22,000 Virginians with essential reproductive health care services like STI testing, sex education, and family planning. The bill, if enacted, would block 1,300 people, in Richmond alone, from receiving STI testing and restrict access to basic health care services statewide. This vote comes after legislators received hundreds of phone calls and more than 5,000 petition signatures urging them to reject the measure earlier this year.

    Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said:

    “We are happy and relieved that HB1090 will not become the law in Virginia. After months of outcry and thousands of Virginians calling for the defeat of this bill, House Democrats listened to the voices of Virginians who demanded this bill’s defeat. We have seen in Virginia and around the country, coordinated attacks on safe and legal abortion and access to Planned Parenthood. Today, House Democrats joined Governor McAuliffe by putting health first and blocked this political attack on access to women’s reproductive health care.

    “Every day, hundreds of Virginians come to Planned Parenthood health centers across the Commonwealth to receive high quality, low cost care. Through the House of Delegate’s actions today, those patients can feel confident that they can continue to receive care, no matter what.”

    Across the country, politicians are taking aim at birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and other care at Planned Parenthood. Last month, in Florida, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that could eliminate access to essential preventative care at Planned Parenthood for thousands of people.

  • From ProgressVA:

    General Assembly Fails To Override Governor’s Vetoes

    Richmond, VA – The General Assembly today failed to override Governor McAuliffe’s vetoes of outrageous bills attacking Virginia families. The Governor’s vetoes of HB1090, defunding Planned Parenthood and attacking women’s health care, and SB41, providing a license to discriminate against gay, lesbian, and transgender Virginians, will stand.

    “Today’s veto session only reinforced how out of touch conservative politicians are with Virginia families,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Virginians oppose these absurd attacks on health care and equality. The only people who can’t seem to understand that are right-wing politicians who are more interested in catering to extremists than serving the interests of their constituents. Thank goodness we have a Governor who will stand between our families and these attacks becoming law. While we’re grateful to Governor McAuliffe, it is simply scary that a majority of the General Assembly would vote repeatedly to cut off funding for women’s health care and to allow for taxpayer-funded discrimination.”

  • From the Virginia House Dem Caucus:


    Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly today stopped 24 Republican bills, including legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood, legalized LGBT discrimination and lowered the wages of working Virginians. Republican-backed legislation, previously vetoed by Governor McAuliffe, would have become law if not for Democratic votes to sustain the vetoes and kill the legislation in the Senate and House of Delegates.

    “Democrats in the General Assembly made sure that common sense prevailed today in Richmond. Throughout the 2016 legislative session, Governor McAuliffe and Democrats have been focused on building a new Virginia economy, and that extreme legislation is not only opposed by the majority of Virginians, but distracts from our efforts to create jobs, and support investments in public education,” said Del. David Toscano, Leader of the House Democratic Caucus.

    “Our caucus was very happy this year to work with Republicans where we could, to pass a budget that included a raise for teachers and our state police, as well as investments into infrastructure and the economy. Today, we made sure that bills that would limit local control, reduce access to health care for women and lowered the wages of Virginians were not allowed to become law,” said Del. Charniele Herring, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

  • From the Virginia Senate Dem Caucus:


    RICHMOND — This afternoon, the Senate sustained Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes of seven different bills — meaning the chamber has upheld every legislative veto to come before it during the current governor’s term. All seven votes took place along party or near-party lines, with Democrats supporting the vetoes.

    Said Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D – Fairfax), “I’m proud that we have sustained every veto to come before the Senate since the start of Gov. McAuliffe’s term — but these bills should never have been introduced in the first place. Instead of wasting time on divisive, partisan legislation, we ought to be focused on making Virginia a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

    Said Caucus Chair Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico), “Today, Democrats in both chambers stood together to defeat bills that would have sanctioned discrimination, undermined public schools, and injected partisan politics into local elections. I remain deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues chose to carry such regressive bills — but I am pleased that we’ve rejected their damaging ideas and stood up for our brothers and sisters across the Commonwealth.”


    The list of bills for which the Senate sustained the governor’s vetoes included five Senate bills and two House bills:

    SB 41 (Carrico) — Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

    SB 44 (Carrico) — Coal tax credits.

    SB 270 (Garrett) — Compliance with detainers; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    SB 612 (Garrett) — Students who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programs.

    SB 767 (Suetterlein) — Form of ballot; party identification of candidates.

    HB 298 (Kilgore) — Coal tax credits.

    HB 587 (Poindexter) — Protection of monuments and memorials.

    (Vetoes of numerous other House bills were sustained in that chamber.)

  • Video: Sen. Scott Surovell rips execution drugs secrecy. I am strongly with Surovell; as usual, I am NOT with Dick Saslaw (a huge fan of the death penalty and apparently not concerned about government secrecy), who spoke after Surovell. All I can say is, Dick Saslaw, RETIRE ALREADY!


  • Governor McAuliffe Statement on Successful Reconvened Session

    General Assembly Upholds All Gubernatorial Vetoes and 89% of Amended Bills

    Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after the General Assembly voted to uphold 24 of the vetoes and 89% percent of the amended bills they considered during the 2016 reconvened session. The Governor vetoed a total of 32 bills throughout the 2016 legislative session, none of which were overturned:

    “When this session began, I asked the General Assembly to work with me to pass legislation that will contribute to our ongoing efforts to build a stronger, new Virginia economy in every corner of our Commonwealth. We worked together to make record investments in public education, to reach historic agreements on transportation and gun safety, and to achieve significant progress on a number of other issues that are important to Virginians’ lives.

    “While there is no question that this session was marked far more by compromise and accomplishment than by partisan conflict, there are some areas on which Republicans in the General Assembly and I disagreed. The vetoes I submitted to the legislature for their consideration today honored the promise I made in the State of the Commonwealth to reject legislation that divides Virginians, makes them less safe, or sends a negative message about the climate we offer to families or businesses that may want to locate here. The controversies we are watching in other states underscore the need to reject legislation that divides or distracts us from the work Virginians elected us to do.

    “I am proud that the General Assembly did not override any of the 32 vetoes we submitted this year, or any of the 68 I have submitted throughout my tenure to date.

    “I also want to thank the General Assembly for considering 45 bills I amended and accepting all of my amendments to 40 of them, including the bond bill and the Go Virginia bill. With respect to the state budget, I did not heavily amend the bill submitted to me because it largely reflected the priorities I included in the version I introduced – however the General Assembly still accepted 57% of the amendments I submitted for their consideration today.

    “I admire the thoughtful and vigorous discussion that members of both parties engaged in with respect to the amendments I submitted to legislation regarding the future of the death penalty in Virginia. My amendments offered legislators a choice between a practical approach to moving forward with Virginia’s death penalty law or a moratorium on executions in our Commonwealth. Their final decision will allow the Virginia Department of Corrections to continue to enforce the law without resorting to barbaric measures like the electric chair.

    “The 2016 legislative session will be remembered for the historic progress we made on education, transportation, public safety, support for veterans and a range of other issues that matter to Virginia families. As my team and I prepare for our final review of the actions taken by the General Assembly today, I want to thank all of my colleagues in the legislative branch for working with me on the agenda I proposed at the beginning of this session and contributing significantly to the work we are doing to create jobs, strengthen our communities and lay a foundation for a stronger new Virginia economy.”