Politics

Advocates applaud governor’s vow to veto anti-’sanctuary’ bills

By Rodrigo Arriaza

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Advocates for undocumented immigrants are praising Gov. Terry McAuliffe after his promise to veto Republican-backed legislation prohibiting local governments from becoming “sanctuary cities.”

Progress Virginia and New Virginia Majority, which advocate for the rights of undocumented immigrants, criticized bills passed by the House and Senate on party-line votes this week.

The bills state that localities must not restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws and must cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Continue reading


Gov. McAuliffe vows to veto anti-LGBT legislation

By Megan Schiffres

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vowed to veto any bill that discriminates against LGBTQ people at a reception hosted Tuesday night by Equality Virginia. McAuliffe has vetoed 71 bills during his two years as governor, none of which have been overturned.

“It’s not about doing the most vetoes of any governor in Virginia history,” McAuliffe said. “We’re stopping people from doing things that discriminate against people’s basic rights.”

The governor said he had slated another 35 bills for veto this session.

“They’ve slipped a few bills through, but they’re not going to slip through the governor’s office. I’m going to veto them,” said McAuliffe, a Democrat in the final year of his term. Continue reading


House votes to defund Planned Parenthood

By SaraRose Martin

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The House of Delegates voted Tuesday to defund Planned Parenthood despite protests by women’s rights advocates on the Capitol grounds and in the House chamber.

On a 60-33 party-line vote, the House approved HB 2264, which would cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and any other groups that perform abortions in Virginia. The organization says loss of the funding would “significantly undermine” services at its five clinics in the state.

About a dozen protesters lined the sidewalk at Capitol Square on Tuesday morning as legislators walked from the General Assembly Building to the state Capitol. They held signs declaring “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” and “Stop the War on Virginia Women.” Continue reading


First veteran hired for Military Medics Program

By Jessica Nolte

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe celebrated Monday the announcement of Virginia Military Medics and Corpsmen Program’s first hire, Jeffery Filler.

The Virginia MMAC program is the first of its kind in the nation. The program employs veterans, giving them the opportunity to utilize their medical training acquired during active duty service.

“This is important, this is the next step when we talk about what we need to do to make Virginia the most veteran friendly state in American,” McAuliffe said. Continue reading


Richmond Mayor Renews City’s Protection of Illegal Immigrants

Executive Order Sanctuary

President Trump issued an Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States on January 25 of this year. Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic. (Full Executive Order Here)

By Mary Lee Clark and Megan Schiffres

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Richmond is joining a national movement to protect immigrants and refugees in light of recent presidential executive actions.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney signed a mayoral directive Monday reaffirming his commitment to protect and promote the safety of all members of the community regardless of their immigration or refugee status.

The directive is a response to protests and a petition with about 1,400 signatures asking Stoney to take action against President Trump’s executive order issued Jan. 25 that blocks funding to sanctuary cities, which are jurisdictions that limit law enforcement cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Continue reading