Va. Senate panel leaves gay marriage ban in law

virginiaA state Senate committee isn’t ready to take Virginia’s overturned gay-marriage ban out of the state constitution.

On an 8-7 party-line vote Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Privileges and Elections Committee rejected a proposal to begin the process of repealing the amendment approved by Virginia voters in 2006 defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Continue reading

Virginia’s Population Growth Slows to Decades’ Low; Cities Rebound

virginiaVirginia’s population has increased by less than 1 percent each year since 2010 – the commonwealth’s lowest growth rate in decades. This trend, among others, was revealed in the official state annual population estimates developed, analyzed and released today by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Continue reading

Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Expanded Market Access for U.S. Grown Apples to China

applesThis weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reached agreement with Chinese officials to allow all U.S. grown apples to gain access to the Chinese market. This will allow a greater share of U.S. apple exports to China in the coming months and has the potential to increase U.S. fresh apple exports, which were valued at more than $1 billion in 2013, by approximately 10 percent. Continue reading

Statement of U.S. Sen. Warner & Kaine on Interior Department’s Mid-Atlantic Offshore Plan

warner and kaineU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) released the following joint statement on the U.S. Interior Department’s release today on the 2017-2022 draft strategy for offshore oil and gas leasing. Sens. Warner and Kaine  introduced the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act, which provided for revenue sharing for Virginia and participating coastal states: Continue reading