Michael Lee Pope is an award-winning journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for NPR, the New York Daily News and Northern Virginia Magazine. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Pope is the author of four books.
State slashes funds to fix city’s combined sewer system.
Lawmakers poised to leave town without passing budget.
Budget showdowns are rare in Virginia, but not unprecedented. Back in 2004, Gov. Mark Warner clashed with Republicans over a sales tax increase. Then in 2014, Gov. Terry McAuliffe engaged in brinkmanship over expanding Medicaid. Now lawmakers are poised to end the session once again without passing a budget.
Increased availability behind bars, but no tax breaks during back-to-school week.
Several lawmakers from Northern Virginia arrived in Richmond this year hoping to push a cause known as menstrual equity — making sure that feminine hygiene products are affordable, safe and available. But success has been mixed.
Democrats still need to flip one more GOP senator to make it happen.
Democrats unable to gain traction on reform, despite new numbers in House.
When lawmakers arrived in Richmond last month, Democrats were hopeful that they would be able to use their new numbers to gain some traction on the gun debate. Now that the session is half over and the nation is reeling from yet another mass shooting, very little of their agenda has been accomplished at the Capitol.
Extreme position on House floor enjoys a storied history.
As a freshman delegate in 1978, Ken Plum was assigned a desk in the far corner on the Democratic side of the House of Delegates — seat 17. It wasn’t the best vantage point in the House because about a third of the Republican members were totally out of view. The senior members took the seats at the back of the chamber near the center, sticking Plum in the corner.
Senate panel takes action limiting one kind of high-interest loan, leaving loophole for another.
By this time next year, high-interest lenders may be prohibited from making consumer finance loans — at least ones they find profitable at 200 percent interest. So that loophole may be closed by the end of the General Assembly session. But it seems likely lawmakers will leave Richmond this year creating no restrictions on open-end lines of credit, raising concern among some that lawmakers are playing a game of whack-a-mole.
Lawmakers reject bill that would have required governor’s school to admit poor students.
Northern Virginia Democrat advocates for strip searches to combat opioid crisis.
Airbnb to collect the taxes and forward money to city.
For the last few months, city officials have been working behind the scenes to create a registration system for people who rent out their homes through Airbnb. Now they’ve created the online database, and they’re about to launch a campaign to let all the home-sharing businesses know it’s time to register with the city and start paying taxes.