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Wednesday News: Pompeo Met Kim Jong Un; RIP Barbara Bush; “Va. assembly to decide on Metro taxes, veto overrides”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 18.

  • Video: Southwest 1380 (engine failure 4/17/2018) ENTIRE EVENT: actual multi-sector ATC audio — great job by the air traffic controller, pilot, etc!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkVTdvcghHc&feature=youtu.be

  • Southern Liberal

    I bet Liberty University would love to take over River Ridge Mall completely.

  • Pragmatic Progressive
  • Video: Del. Sam Rasoul Speaks Against the Work Requirement for Medicaid

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPbk1Qtk5Dc

  • How pathetic is Virginia (thanks Dominion!) when it comes to wind power? See below for the graphic from Axios

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/stateswindenergyshare.jpg

  • From the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights:

    HOUSE CONSERVATIVES FAIL TO OVERRIDE NORTHAM’S VETO OF HB 1257
    State Lawmakers Should Focus on Medicaid Expansion, Not Criminalizing Immigrants and Refugees

    Richmond— Today, House Republican lawmakers failed to override Governor Ralph Northam’s veto of HB 1257, hateful legislation that criminalizes Virginia’s immigrant and refugee communities. The Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) finds it shameful that conservative members of the House of Delegates chose to spend part of the day debating HB 1257, instead of focusing on important issues like passing a state budget with Medicaid expansion.

    “The disdain for immigrant communities from conservative lawmakers is no more evident than it was today, as lawmakers chose to spend time reviving a hateful message to our communities that serves no effective purpose other than to create fear and spread misinformation about our communities and families. We didn’t stand for it when it was introduced and we’ll continue to fight back against these discriminatory policies for as long as it takes,” said Margie Del Castillo, chair of VACIR’s state policy committee.

    Republicans in the House of Delegates were unable to get the two-thirds majority necessary to override Northam’s veto of HB 1257, a bill that he rejected on April 9. The General Assembly is back in Richmond for a special session to finish work on the state budget.

    In a press statement issued after vetoing HB1257, Gov. Northam said, “This legislation would force local law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions that are the responsibility of federal immigration enforcement agencies. It also sends a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.”

    VACIR applauds Gov. Northam’s veto and his concern for the well-being of Virginia’s immigrant and refugee communities. If enacted, HB 1257 would make Virginia a hostile place for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents by forcing localities to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Trump’s deportation force. HB 1257 undermines community policing efforts and public safety by making immigrants and refugees afraid to contact the police to report a crime, which could lead to investigations of their immigration status.

    Immigrants and refugees are Virginians who contribute to their state by paying taxes and creating their lives here. Every Virginian deserves to live in a safe community without living in fear of having their families ripped apart and having their lives upended. The Commonwealth should work to uplift immigrant and refugee communities, not attack them.

  • Progress Virginia Condemns Republican Rejection of Redistricting Reform
    Governor Northam’s amendments would have ensured voters can choose their elected officials

    Richmond, VA—Progress Virginia, the commonwealth’s leading voice for progressive values, today strongly condemned legislative Republicans’ rejection of amendments to institute real redistricting reform in Virginia. Senate and House Republicans rejected proposed language to ensure Virginia voters can choose their elected officials instead of allowing politicians to choose their voters. Republicans also rejected proposed language to ensure communities of color have a say in choosing who represents them. The underlying bills to which Governor Northam offered amendments, SB106 and HB1598, are toothless message bills that do nothing to change current standards and criteria around redistricting.

    “It’s simply outrageous that Republican politicians would reject reforms to ensure Virginia voters get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “There seem to be no low these politicians won’t stoop to in order to ensure they’re able to continue to rig elections without accountability. It’s particularly offensive that after a federal court ruled in 2016 Virginia politicians had drawn unfair congressional district lines designed to deny black Virginians a real voice in choosing their elected officials, these same politicians would reject reforms to prevent them from targeting communities of color again.”

  • Southern Liberal

    The tornado in Amherst County was upgraded from EF2 to mid-range EF3.

    http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/NWS–480135673.html

    • Pragmatic Progressive

      Meteorologist George Flickinger from the Lynchburg station put together a comparison of the Elon and Appomattox Co. tornadoes. Both were similar in size, path length, and strength. Biggest difference: the Appomattox tornado was highly visible and the Lynchburg/Elon tornado was rain-wrapped.

      https://www.facebook.com/ABC13News/posts/10155655497142428

      When I saw video of the Appomattox tornado, my thought was, “that looks like a huge one you would see in the Midwest!”

      • Former Republican

        I didn’t learn until recently that Virginia has had a total of 35 EF3 tornadoes (mostly in eastern Virginia) and 2 EF4 tornadoes (one in northern Virginia, one in eastern Virginia).

  • From the VA Senate Dem Caucus:

    SENATE DEM LEADERSHIP SPEAKS OUT ON LACK OF BUDGET

    RICHMOND — This afternoon, Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) issued the following joint statement regarding the ongoing lack of progress on a Senate budget.

    Yesterday, the House of Delegates passed a budget that expands Medicaid in Virginia. Today, Senate Republicans refused to give that budget a hearing. As a result, we are missing out on a whole range of opportunities to not only address our ongoing healthcare crisis but also to fund other important priorities, including education and public safety.

    Senate Republicans are dragging their feet, and very soon our localities are going to feel the full impact of that as they go about building out their budgets for the coming fiscal year. Hiring decisions will be placed on hold, salaries will remain stagnant, and local leaders will not be able to make good spending decisions in the absence of the full picture in terms of the state’s share of funding for different priorities.

    House Republicans have come to terms with the need to address healthcare access. It is time for Senate Republicans to come to terms with this, too. Crafting a budget is the most vital role that we have as a legislature. Senate Republicans have got to stop stalling this process and come to the table.

  • From the VA House Dems:

    Democrats Support Virginia Families Supporting Governor’s Vetoes During Reconvene

    Richmond Va- The House of Delegates met for the reconvene session this afternoon and voted on the Governor’s vetoes and amendments to bills passed during the legislative session. All of Governor Northam’s vetoes were upheld.

    In supporting the Governor’s vetoes, House Democrats supported working families, labor, protected the environment and supported public safety efforts by standing up against an unnecessary and divisive requirements upon localities regarding the enforcement of immigration laws.

    House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement after today’s session.

    “First of all we are pleased that the Governor didn’t have to veto many bills, it demonstrates the impact our “muscular minority” has had in Richmond. We stood by the Governor’s vetoes, to defend Virginia workers, protect the environment, secure access to voting, make infrastructure projects more efficient and enhanced public safety in every community in the Commonwealth- including our immigrant communities. We ensured that these bills would not become law, protecting the interest of everyday Virginia families.”

    The House upheld the Governor’s vetoes, some of these bills would have:

    Vetoed HB 110: This bill would have absolved large corporations from obligations and responsibilities, as a result, this legislation would have added additional burdens on franchisees and their employees, most of whom are small Virginia-based businesses.

    Vetoed HB 375: This bill would have prohibited local governments from requiring a wage floor or any other benefit for contractors that is higher than state or federal standards. This would keep wages down for workers, many of these workers would also be high skilled that would help complete projects more efficiently.

    Vetoed HB 1167: This bill would have required registrars from processing unnecessary maintenance on the list of potential jurors. This bill would have endangered the registrations of eligible voters and prevented them from successfully casting a ballot.

    Vetoed HB 1257: The “sanctuary city ban” bill, this bill imposed an unnecessary and divisive requirement upon localities regarding the enforcement of immigration laws.

    Vetoed HB 1270: The bill restricted the Governor and state agencies from protecting Virginians from climate change. This bill would also erect barriers to innovation and growth in the clean energy economy.

  • From the VA House Dem Caucus:

    Del. Tim Hugo and House Republican Kill Millions of Dollars Worth of Transportation Funding

    RICHMOND VA- Today when the House of Delegates met for the Reconve Session, Republican Delegate Tim Hugo led the charge against Governor Northam’s amendment to the crucial metro funding bill that passed with bipartisan support this session. The amendment would have increased funding for transportation in Northern Virginia by 45 million dollars.

    House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement after the vote.

    “Though we are content with the overall funding of the metro bill, the absence of this crucial funding will strip localities from resources that would have gone to unclog traffic in various key arteries in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth. This will negatively affect all ongoing traffic projects, causing even more congestion. We know traffic is an issue from Vienna to Virginia Beach, we want Virginians to spend more time at home with their families, and not stuck in traffic. It’s reckless and unfortunate that Delegate Hugo and House Republicans would make commuting more difficult for Virginians.”

    “Though we remained pleased that Virginia led the way and created a dedicated funding source badly needed by metro, we are very disappointed that Delegate Hugo and the Republican Caucus failed to see the great merit that business leaders and Republicans in the Senate and in local Governments saw in the Governor’s amendments.” Delegate Richard “Rip” Sullivan, who led the efforts to secure additional funding said. “Their vote today harms not only Northern Virginia’s but all communities,” Sullivan added.

    Even Republican elected officials supported these amendments, writing an op-ed titled, Gov. Northam’s Metro plan will save our constituents money.

    “These provisions would save our constituents money, because the alternative to them means less funding for vital road projects. The only way to make that up is for us — local elected officials — to spend local tax dollars from already stretched property taxes to fund those same projects.” The op-ed read.

  • Quizzical

    Dick’s Sporting Goods is destroying the “assault weapons” they decided not to sell.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/business/guns-dicks-sporting-goods.html

    • Quizzical

      Not long ago I suggested that the Civilian Marksmanship Program shouldn’t be acquiring and re-selling M1 Garands and .45s, and that it would be better to dump the WWII surplus weapons into the ocean rather than “repatriate” them to the US. I was surprised that Dick’s Sporting Goods has kind of the same view.