Latest Virginia state government News

File this Thursday March 21, 2020 file photo shows Virginia State Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, gestures during a news conference in his office at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Morrissey, sponsored legislation that was approved by the General Assembly last week that will turn over sentencing of criminal defendants to judges instead of juries, beginning in July 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

After 200 years, Virginia to let judges decide sentences

Oct. 24, 2020 8:24 AM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Defense attorneys call it “the jury penalty.” It’s a centuries-old sentencing system in Virginia that calls for juries to decide punishment for criminal defendants, and often leads to stiffer sentences than what judges give or prosecutors offer in plea deals. ...

Virginia state officials lay out plan to address rising seas

Oct. 23, 2020 10:51 AM EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia state officials have laid out a plan to protect the state’s coastal communities from sea-level rise that could inundate land and roads and threaten property in the decades ahead. Gov. Ralph Northam joined other state and local officials on Thursday to unveil the...

Virginia governor worried about part of traffic stop bill

Oct. 22, 2020 1:09 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declined to sign into law a measure designed to discourage racial profiling of motorists by police, concerned that some language could prevent authorities from pulling over vehicles for serious safety concerns. Northam supports nearly all of language in the...

The afternoon sun illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Ave in Richmond, Va., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. A Richmond judge heard arguments in a lawsuit over the Governors' order to remove the statue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

No immediate ruling from judge after Lee statue trial

Oct. 19, 2020 6:44 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A judge heard hours of arguments and witness testimony Monday but did not immediately issue a ruling in a lawsuit seeking to prevent Virginia's governor from removing an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. “It's a very difficult case. It's a difficult...

Virginia lawmakers vote to make Juneteenth a state holiday

Oct. 19, 2020 6:12 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Juneteenth has officially become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly special session. Juneteenth marks the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, which was the last state to abolish slavery. The...

Public hearing set on Lee statue replacement at US Capitol

Oct. 18, 2020 5:24 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A state panel tasked with recommending a replacement for Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol will hold a virtual public hearing on the matter next month. The panel, created by the General Assembly earlier this year, has set a Nov. 17 hearing, the Richmond...

A firefighter walks through the burning rubble of a shopping center after an explosion in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. Three people were transported for injuries from the blast. The cause of the explosion has not been released yet. (Ian Munro /Daily News-Record via AP)

At least 5 injured in blast, fire at Virginia strip mall

Oct. 17, 2020 7:29 PM EDT

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — An investigation was underway into the cause of an explosion and large fire at a shopping center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, that injured at least five people Saturday morning. Three people were taken to hospitals after the incident that was reported around 8:30 a.m., and two others...

Virginia lawmakers pass new budget amid coronavirus pandemic

Oct. 16, 2020 8:25 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers all but wrapped up a special legislative session Friday by approving a new state budget that gives bonuses to police, pays for a host of new criminal justice reforms, and extends moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs during the coronavirus pandemic. The...

Correction: Virginia Legislature-Special Session story

Oct. 16, 2020 4:29 PM EDT
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In a story Oct. 15, 2020, about the Virginia General Assembly, The Associated Press erroneously reported the amount of federal COVID-19 relief funds appropriated to help home health care workers in the state. It is $73 million, not $73,000.
Voters line up outside to cast ballots in the general election at the Henrico County general registrar's office in Henrico County, Va., Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, on the first day of the state's 45-day early voting period. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Federal judge extends Virginia voter registration deadline

Oct. 14, 2020 10:46 AM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday extended the deadline for registering to vote in Virginia by 48 hours after the state's online voter registration system went down because of an accidentally severed cable. The order by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. in Richmond is an effort to...