Terry McAuliffe

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will be pushing legislation again this session to promote direct primary care agreements, in which patients pay a fee for unlimited primary care.

Del. Steven Landes outlined Republicans' health care priorities in a speech on the House floor Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed primary care legislation last year that supporters said was needed to provide legal clarity for them and their customers. It clarified that direct primary care agreements are not insurance and cannot be regulated as such.

park partnership

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A record number of people visited Virginia state parks in 2016.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office announced Tuesday that park attendance rose 12 percent from the year before, with more than 10 million visitors.

State officials credited good weather, lower gas prices and a year-long celebration of the parks' 80th anniversary for the uptick in visitors.

Virginia has 37 state parks, including the newly opened Natural Bridge State Park in Rockbridge County. State officials say the parks have a $222 million impact on the state's economy.

don rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker wants to allow hundreds of thousands of Virginians with suspended driver's licenses due to unpaid court debts to be able to get restricted licenses so they can continue to work.

The proposal is an alternative to one of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's top legislative priorities: limiting the state's ability to suspend driver's licenses for unpaid court debts or for crimes unrelated to driving. McAuliffe has said 650,000 Virginians have lost their license for not being able to pay court-related debts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A year after a rare compromise on gun legislation, a more familiar standoff seems likely at the Virginia General Assembly.

Advocates both for gun control and gun rights swarmed the Capitol Monday to advocate for and against gun-related legislation.

Gun rights advocates are pushing for fewer restrictions on where guns can be carried, including in schools. Gun control advocates want universal background checks on gun purchases. Both sides have uphill battles, as there's been no indication of any type of compromise brewing between lawmakers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of people gathered for a rally outside the Virginia Capitol to oppose Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

High-ranking Democrats including Sen. Tim Kaine, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin spoke to the crowd Sunday in Richmond. The rally was one of many around the country in support of the federal health care law, which President-elect Donald Trump has promised to overturn and replace.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Republican Ed Gillespie has launched his campaign for Virginia governor with a pledge to jump-start the state's economy, in part by cutting taxes.

The former Republican National Committee chairman is making a series of appearances around the state. His first three stops on Saturday were in Chantilly, Richmond and Virginia Beach.

Gillespie narrowly lost a U.S. Senate bid against Democrat Mark Warner in 2014.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is announcing a new 20 megawatt solar project in Sussex County.

The governor's office announced Thursday that permits had been approved for the project, which is under development by a subsidiary of Dominion Resources.

The project is expected to produce enough power for 3,500 homes.

McAuliffe has made expanding the use of solar panels a priority of his administration. Virginia has lagged behind neighboring North Carolina in solar generation for years.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is touting his record of a growing and diversifying state's economy.

But he warned lawmakers that progress could be undermined by socially conservative legislation on abortion and transgender issues.

McAuliffe's remarks came last night evening at the annual State of the Commonwealth, kicking off the start of the 2017 legislative session.

The Democratic governor asked lawmakers to work with him on helping the state become less dependent on federal defense spending.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he'll be actively promoting legislation aimed at strengthening the state's ethics rules and making it easier to vote.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said Tuesday he'll be pushing legislation that would prohibit lawmakers from using their campaign accounts for personal use, saying the move is necessary to accompany a $100 gift cap lawmakers approved earlier in his term.

Silverback Distillery website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Distillery owner Denver Riggleman says he will seek the republican nomination for governor.

Riggleman said in a news release late Monday that he wants to break up the "good ole boys system" in Richmond.

Riggleman and his wife, Christine, own Silverback Distillery, a craft distillery in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Three candidates other candidates are running on the Republican side.

Riggleman will host a campaign kickoff at Silverback Distillery on Saturday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's budget proposal includes a $6 million pilot program that would provide women with long-term contraception such as intrauterine devices at no cost.

The Daily Press reports McAuliffe also pushed unsuccessfully last year for the program, which is modeled after a project in Colorado tied to decreases in the teen pregnancy rate and number of abortions.

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order requiring future state contractors to agree to a policy that prohibits discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The order is similar to one McAuliffe signed when taking office in 2014 prohibiting discrimination against state employees.

The governor, a Democrat, said the order would make Virginia a more business-friendly state.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker has introduced legislation similar to North Carolina's transgender bathroom law, which has consumed that state for months and scared off businesses and sporting events.

Republican Del. Bob Marshall introduced the legislation Tuesday, sparking a strong pushback from civil rights groups who say the bill is discriminatory.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia to be more forgiving when it comes to lower-level crimes while making it easier for new DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

The governor, a Democrat, announced several legislative priorities Tuesday aimed at overhauling the state's criminal justice system.

They include raising the threshold for felony theft from $200 to $500 and restricting the state's ability to suspend driver's licenses for certain crimes or unpaid court debts.

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a proposal hurts the state's image.
 
McAuliffe, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to send a clear message to the Republican-controlled General Assembly not to "waste time" with "socially divisive bills," such as the 20-week abortion ban.
 
The legislation was prefilled by a Republican delegate, and the General Assembly's 2017 legislative session starts next week.
 

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MITCHELLS, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted a full pardon to a man who was cleared of committing a double murder he was serving a prison sentence for.

The Daily Progress reports Robert Paul Davis learned Friday that he had been granted a full pardon. Davis had been granted a conditional pardon in December 2015 that allowed him to leave the Coffeewood Correctional Center in Culpeper, where he had been serving a 23-year sentence.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to force certain internet retailers to collect sales taxes to help close a more than $1 billion state budget shortfall.

McAuliffe's proposals to plug the budget gap outlined Friday include requiring out-of-state retailers with facilities in the state to collect taxes for online purchases from Virginia residents.

McAuliffe also wants to slow the rollback of a budget-balancing gimmick that requires some merchants to pay early estimated sales taxes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to lay out his proposed amendments to Virginia's two-year state budget.

The Democratic governor will address a joint meeting of the General Assembly's money committees on Friday.

McAuliffe announced a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this summer, which forced him to scrap planned raises for state employees and ask agency directors to plan for cuts.

The governor said late last month that the economy is improving enough to avoid some of the toughest budget cuts being considered, but didn't discuss specifics.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing $31.7 million in new funds to improve mental health care and substance abuse treatment in Virginia.

The governor announced Wednesday his proposed amendments to the state's two-year budget will include funding to pay for more same-day mental health assessments and improve mental health treatment in jails, among other things.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his budget proposal will include a 1.5 percent one-time bonus for state workers next year.

McAuliffe said Tuesday during a regular appearance on WRVA-AM's "Ask the Governor" that the bonus would be paid in December 2017. He says he's setting aside $130.6 million for the pay boost, career development and money to reduce salary compression among law enforcement.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is calling for reforms at the state's troubled economic development agency.

McAuliffe outlined legislation Monday he plans to introduce in the upcoming legislative session to strengthen oversight of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, which doles out millions of dollars in incentive grants.

VEDP has come under fire recently after a report by the General Assembly's watchdog group found its unstructured approach to administering grants left the state vulnerable to fraud.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Four former sailors who have long claimed that police coerced them into falsely confessing to a 1997 rape and murder have asked Virginia's governor to declare them innocent.

Attorneys for the ex-sailors known as the "Norfolk Four" told The Associated Press that the men filed a request for absolute pardons this week with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

A spokesman for McAuliffe said he has received the requests and will review them carefully.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state's economy is improving and he won't have to cut as much from the state budget as previously thought.

McAuliffe told reporters Monday that he and other state officials are "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of the state's economy, in part because of an increase in state payroll tax revenues in recent months. The governor made the comments following a private meeting with state budget officials and business leaders.

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - Virginia is preparing to expand the tunnel that connects Hampton Roads to the state's Eastern Shore.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that the $756 million project to expand the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel will be funded primary through federal and state bonds.

Workers will build an additional two-lane tunnel under the Thimble Shoal Channel, west of the existing bridge-tunnel. Construction is expected to begin next fall.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is trying to help veterans get jobs in the cybersecurity industry.

That's the goal of a new initiative in Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration called "Cyber Vets Virginia."

Veterans interested in working in the cyber field in the state will have the opportunity to participate in a free cyber training program.

The administration says the 12-to-15-week training will be done mostly online but have weekly classroom sessions. Registration will begin in January and training is expected to begin in April.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Donald Trump's surprise victory has upended Virginia politics. It diminished the star power of the state's top Democrats and turned the political calculations of the already-in-progress 2017 gubernatorial race upside down. That race is likely to be the most closely watched election in the country next year.

A Hillary Clinton victory would have given a giant boost to top Democrats in Virginia. Running mate Tim Kaine was set to be the next vice president and longtime Clinton friend Gov. Terry McAuliffe was going to be the best connected governor in the country.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump is accusing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe of acting "illegally" to return voting rights to convicted felons who've served their sentences.

The GOP nominee tells supporters at a midnight rally in the state that the governor is "letting criminals cancel out the votes of law-abiding citizens."

He's imploring his supporters to get out to vote.

He says, "We are going to have one of the great victories of all time," comparing it to the "Brexit" vote by The UK to leave the European Union "times 50."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia's Medicaid program will need an additional $281 million in the current two-year budget.
    
Local news organizations report that the cost projection was disclosed to legislative budget leaders on Tuesday, two months after Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed a $1.48 billion revenue shortfall.
    
The McAuliffe administration says the forecast is driven primarily by higher costs for services to the elderly and disabled.
    

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is touting the state's growing oyster business and declaring November Virginia Oyster Month.

McAuliffe's office said Wednesday that more than 135 million oysters were planted in Virginia in 2015, a 27 percent increase from the year before.

The governor said oyster tourism is increasing in Virginia, which boats eight distinct oyster growing regions.

Virginia started a state oyster trail last year to boost tourism.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state government has a new website designed to help battle opioid and heroin addiction.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday the creation of VaAware.com , which he said was an informational tool for the public, health care practitioners and law enforcement officials.

Opioid deaths in Virginia have risen dramatically in recent years. In 2015, there were 801 deaths, a nearly 50 percent increase since 2012.

The website was recommended by McAuliffe's newly created task force on prescription drug and heroin abuse.

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