Terry McAuliffe

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Nearly 400,000 Virginia elementary and middle school students will take shorter Standards of Learning math tests this spring.

The state is expanding the use of computer-adaptive testing, which it says means shorter exams for students.

The Virginia Department of Education says the computer-adaptive version of the test third graders will take this year has just 32 items. Last year, the exam third graders took had 50 items.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawyers for an autistic and intellectually disabled man claim in a federal lawsuit that he was treated inhumanely during nearly three years in Virginia jails and prisons.

According to the complaint, Reginald Latson was held in solitary confinement for months at a time, shocked with a stun gun and strapped for hours in a restraint chair after acting out because of his disabilities. His lawyers say Latson needed and deserved treatment, not punishment.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's House of Delegates has approved a proposal that would allow the state to shield the identities of pharmacies that supply lethal injection drugs for executions.

The proposal backed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe initially fell several votes short of the support needed. But after Republicans pushed to reconsider the vote, it passed with a 59-40 vote. It heads to the Senate.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says he doesn't believe a proposal to allow the state to obtain lethal injection drugs from anonymous compounding pharmacies would violate federal law.

Republican Del. Jackson Miller had asked Attorney General Mark Herring for an opinion before lawmakers reconvene Wednesday to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposal.

In his opinion released late Tuesday, Herring rejected the argument that federal law allows pharmacies to compound drugs only with a valid prescription.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A coalition of several hundred religious leaders is urging Virginia lawmakers to reject a proposal to conceal the identities of pharmacies supplying drugs to be used in executions.

Several representatives of the interfaith coalition are scheduled to discuss their objections at a news conference Monday at the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

Lethal injection drugs have been hard to obtain in Virginia and other states. That situation prompted Del. Jackson Miller to propose allowing Virginia to use the electric chair if drugs aren't available.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed 32 bills this year, the most of any governor since 1998.

The Washington Post reports that McAuliffe, a Democrat, said he's fulfilling a promise to block restrictions to abortion, gay rights, and other liberal priorities. 

Republicans said McAuliffe's high number of vetoes shows that he and his staff are disengaged from the legislative process. Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed making significant changes to a bill that sought to allow the state to force condemned inmates to die in the electric chair when lethal injection drugs aren't available.
The Democratic governor's amendment to the bill would give the state to power to compound lethal injection drugs needed for executions. It also would allow the state to keep secret the names of pharmacies that supply the drugs.  

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation that would require candidates for local office be identified on ballots by their party affiliation.

McAuliffe said Friday that the bill would inject partisanship into historically nonpartisan elections.

The governor's office said Virginia hasn't required local candidates to be identified by party since written ballots were adopted in 1870.

McAuliffe said lawmakers should not create new places for "partisan rancor" to "flourish."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Religious leaders are urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to veto a bill that would allow the state to force condemned inmates to die in the electric chair.

Three hundred faith leaders from Virginia and across the county said in a statement Thursday that the electric chair is a "barbarous relic" that kills inmates with "unspeakable cruelty." They say they have a "moral responsibility" to preserve all lives, even those whose actions they "deplore."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation to allow people who are protected by a protective order to carry a hidden handgun without getting a permit.

McAuliffe said Thursday that the legislation would have encouraged victims of domestic abuse to introduce guns into already dangerous situations.

The governor, a Democrat, tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to amend the legislation. McAuliffe wanted people protected by a protective order to take a firearms safety class before they could carry a concealed weapon, among other changes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that seeks to allow certain school security officers to carry guns.

Republican Del. Scott Lingamfelter's bill would allow school security officers to carry a firearm if they're a retired law enforcement officer and have met certain training standards. The local school board would also have to agree to it. 

McAuliffe said in his veto message that the bill would expose students and schools to "unnecessary risk and potential harm" by allow people without adequate training to carry firearms in schools.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia will soon have an official state rock thanks to a group of community college students.

The News & Advance reports Nelsonite, named after Nelson County, officially will become the state rock July 1. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the bill into law Friday.

Michelle Stanislaus and her classmates at Piedmont Virginia Community College worked to help convince legislators to name Nelsonite the state rock.

The project was collaboration between PVCC political science and geology classes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a trio of education-related bills he said would undercut state support for all public schools.

McAuliffe vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed students at struggling schools to transfer to another school in the same school district.

Another bill would allow disabled students to use public school funding for private school or other items.

And a third bill would have created a new state board tasked with overseeing full-time virtual school programs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed GOP-backed legislation that would have prohibited state and local officials from releasing people from jail if federal immigration officials had requested they be detained.

The Democratic governor vetoed the legislation last week, saying it would unfairly treat immigrants "caught up in a broken immigration system."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Democratic governor has vetoed a bill that seeks to force schools to notify parents if their children will be assigned books with sexually explicit content.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in his veto message Monday that he believes it's inappropriate to interfere with local school board policy. He also said the bill is unnecessary because the Virginia Board of Education is already examining such a policy.

The bill received a 22-17 vote in the Senate, meaning there's likely not enough support to override the governor's veto.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Newport News state Sen. John Miller has died.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office said it was notified Monday of Miller's death by Miller's family. McAuliffe issued a statement praising the 68-year-old Miller as "moderate voice" in the General Assembly.

The governor's office did not release details or the cause of death.

Miller is a former journalist who worked at WVEC television station. Miller also worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible and at Christopher Newport University.

He was first elected to the state Senate in 2007.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will block an effort by lawmakers to prevent capital projects at colleges and universities from moving forward until he signs construction contracts to replace the General Assembly Building.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a Republican-backed bill that seeks to block state funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Democratic governor said he was proud to veto the legislation that would defund the women's health group, which performs abortions as well as well as providing other health services.

McAuliffe was joined at an event Tuesday by lawmakers and advocates. He said he needed to "smack down" the attempt to limit women's health rights.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that seeks to undo the Democrat's executive order banning guns in state offices.

McAuliffe also nixed a bill that would prevent most government agencies from prohibiting employees from keeping firearms in their vehicles.

State workers are currently barred from possessing a weapon not required for their job when they are on state premises or conducting state business.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - In a step toward the development of offshore wind turbines, the federal government has announced approval of a wind energy research facility to be located in federal waters off Virginia.

The announcement Thursday by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management clears the way for the installation and operation of two 6-megawatt turbines. The power generated by those turbines is enough to provide electricity for 3,000 homes.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to make a major economic development announcement in Roanoke.

The Democrat will make the announcement Tuesday afternoon at Charter Hall in the Roanoke City Market Building.

While McAuliffe's office refused to provide more details about the event, The Roanoke Times reports that Roanoke has been competing to be the location where for Oregon brewery to open an East Coast production facility.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe are celebrating the installation of a wheelchair ramp outside the Executive Mansion.

The governor and first lady are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the ramp on Monday.  

Before the new ramp, people with physical disabilities had to enter through the basement and take an elevator up to the main floor of the Richmond mansion.

The plan for the ramp drew criticism last year from former first lady Roxane Gilmore, who said it was unnecessary and could mar the building's historic character.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia General Assembly has sped up funding for victims who were forcibly sterilized decades ago under a state program.

The News & Advance reports lawmakers made $400,000 available earlier than scheduled for the victims as part of its work on the state budget.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe must still approve the General Assembly's actions on the budget.

State officials say they have received 24 applications for the $25,000 per person payout for those sterilized in Virginia.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is announcing a new public-private partnership on solar power.

The governor said at a news conference Wednesday that the state plans to buy electricity produced from a proposed Dominion Virginia Power 20-megawatt solar plant, with Microsoft offsetting the extra cost associated with solar energy.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Smoking cigarettes in a vehicle in the presence of young children may soon be illegal in Virginia.

The Daily Progress reports that the bill awaiting the governor's signature would make it illegal to smoke in a motor vehicle with children under 8. Violators could be hit with a $100 fine.

The House voted in favor of the bill in February, and the Senate passed it March 3. It's now in the hands of Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

If signed, the law would take effect July 1. McAuliffe has until April 11 to act.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that seeks to prevent local governments from moving Confederate and Civil War monuments.

McAuliffe said in his veto message Thursday that communities across Virginia are having "difficult and complicated" discussions about whether to remove symbols of the Confederacy. McAuliffe said he opposes taking away localities' ability to make those decisions. Virginia law already bars local governments from removing war monuments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Leaders in the Virginia General Assembly have reached a compromise on a $100 billion state budget proposal that includes no new taxes or fee increases and raises state worker pay by 3 percent.

Republican leaders in both the House and Senate announced Wednesday they have agreed on a two-year state spending plan.

As expected, the budget does not include provisions related to expanding Medicaid. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has pushed for expanding the publicly funded health care program for the poor, but Republicans have rejected the idea.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Tourism Corporation is awarding more than $812,000 in grants to bolster local tourism programs.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office says the funds will leverage more than $2.6 million in matching funds from local partners, providing $3.4 million in funding to support marketing campaigns to attract visitors to Virginia.

McAuliffe says the tourism grants have been proven to increase visitation to the state through marketing partnerships and programs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that would allow drinks with high alcohol content like Everclear to be sold at state-owned liquor stores.

The Democratic governor had initially proposed delaying the bill that would allow the sale of Everclear and other high-proof grain alcohol. But that effort was rejected by the GOP-controlled House of Delegates.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia students who are charged with crimes at school could point to learning and behavioral issues as a defense under a bill approved by the General Assembly.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Republican-controlled House voted 95-1 in support of the bill on Monday, sending it to Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The measure would allow students to introduce records in a trial that show educational and behavioral issues as evidence of "diminished capacity." It applies only to misdemeanor offenses during school activities.