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Today's Opinions

  • Potential for budget stalemate exists

        Capitol Square was busy this week, with both the House and the Senate unveiling – and ultimately approving – their respective versions of Virginia’s biennial budget.  In even-numbered years, the General Assembly is responsible for approving a two-year spending plan for the Commonwealth.

  • Deciding the future of Medicaid in Va.

    By Delegate Terry Austin
    19th District

    Budget
        Debate on the budget began this week in the General Assembly. Many important issues will be decided through the budget this year. Perhaps the most important topic that we will discuss as a part of the budget is the future of Medicaid. The budget will eventually go into a conference with six members of both the House and the Senate who will help to find a compromise. I encourage you to follow along as we continue to discuss amendments to the budget.

    Important Bills

  • Promoting STEM education

    Whether it’s a computer at the office, streaming movies at home, or a navigation system in the car, technology plays a major role in many of our lives these days. The demand for students educated in engineering and technology continues to rise in the United States, but part of the challenge is how to engage students in these subjects and further their understanding of these valuable skills.

     

  • Send out the clowns

    he story this week in the New York Daily News stated that there is a growing shortage of clowns.
        Please. They’re just looking for them in the wrong places.
        While membership in the clown trade organizations may be plummeting the number of jokers filling the halls of Congress and the federal government continues to multiply. It appears the circus has left the big top and headed straight for D.C.

  • If it ain’t broke …

    Being trapped in my house by the Great Snow of 2014 has given me time to ponder some things. In spite of giving this much thought, while shoveling snow, I’m still mystified by a vote the Board of Supervisors took at their Feb. 10 meeting. Maybe I’m mystified because I’m a conservative, rather than a libertarian.

  • President’s Day honors democratic institution

    We celebrated President’s Day on Monday, perhaps our most unappreciated holiday the entire year.
        It was originally started as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. Now it stands as an opportunity to contemplate the genius of the presidency itself.
        Our founders had created something new in the world, a system of democratic succession where the top officer of the central government could not serve for life, as kings did elsewhere.

  • The costs of violating traffic regulations

        The days of the 20-dollar speeding ticket have gone the way of the 20-cent bottle of soda pop.
        If you’re planning on getting caught violating traffic regulations, be prepared to pay a heap of cash to do so.
        The thing is, most drivers don’t plan on getting caught.  They just do.
        And when they do, the options they face are not pretty.  As you can see by the accompanying chart, the name of the game is forking over cash.

  • Crossover week

        Any optimism that winter might be winding down was dashed this week, as Richmond got socked with two days of snow.  The inclement weather was sufficient to keep many of the General Assembly Building’s usual inhabitants at home.  With very few exceptions though, legislators were in their seats for session every day.