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Schapiro: Nothing like an old-fashioned fight with trial lawyers / Sun, 06 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0500
Like Moses in the desert, the business lobby has wandered around this issue for 40 years.

The Shad Plank has moved! / Fri, 04 Jan 2013 08:39:16 PST
Looking for The Shad Plank political blog? It's moved to a new home, which you can get to by clicking here ( will get you there soon). Please check out, and bookmark, the new page. And thanks for reading!

U.S. Senate honors ‘Big E’ / Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:45:42 PST
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb Thursday honoring the service of the Norfolk-based U.S.S. Enterprise, which was decommissioned last month after 51 years of service. More than 100,000 sailors served on U.S.S. Enterprise, the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, during its years of service. “I am proud to salute the officers and crew who served on U.S.S. Enterprise since her commissioning more than five decades ago,” Webb said. “As a result of their dedication and sacrifice during peace and war, the 'Big E' answered all bells and sustained the rich legacy forged since the Revolutionary War by the seven namesake ships that preceded her. Bravo Zulu.” “I am proud to help commemorate more than fifty years of...

McDonnell declares 2013 ‘Year of the Teacher’ / Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:33:21 PST
In conjunction with his education reform agenda Gov. Bob McDonnell proclaimed 2013 as the "Year of the Teacher" Thursday. “Virginia’s teachers demonstrate selfless leadership day after day in classrooms across the Commonwealth,” McDonnell said in a press release. “Everyone knows a teacher who's stayed after school to support students; who's buying their own supplies; who's grading homework until 10, 11, or 12 at night then getting up early to put together the next day’s lesson plan. This is amazing dedication. We must do more to recognize and appreciate these professionals. Teachers are charged with the responsibility of passing on traditions, knowledge and character to the next generation. They instill a love for learning, a respect for fellow mankind and a belief that the American dream...

Video: Kaine thanks supporters ahead of swearing in / Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:20:27 PST
Soon to be U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine released the following video thanking supporters just two hours before his swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Thursday:

Schapiro: New Year’s wish list for the Va. Capitol crowd / Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0500
A New Year’s wish list for the famous and infamous of Virginia politics:

House GOP looks to expand school resource officer grant program / Fri, 21 Dec 2012 07:29:02 PST
In light of last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. members of the House of Delegates Republican Caucus said Thursday it would seek to add more money to the state budget during the upcoming General Assembly session to add police officers to elementary school in the commonwealth through the school resource officer grant program. "Today, we are announcing our intent to expand funding for a school resource officer grant program to encourage the creation of school resource officer positions in Virginia elementary schools," said House Speaker William J. Howell of Stafford in a press release. "This is a critical step toward making sure all of our schools are as safe as possible." The GOP caucus has not yet proposed a specific...

Virginia joins nation in moment of silence for Sandy Hook victims / Fri, 21 Dec 2012 07:25:41 PST
Flags flew at half mast on state buildings and the bell in the bell tower on the Capitol grounds tolled twenty-six times at 9:30 a.m. Friday as Virginians joined people across the nation in a moment of silence to remember the victims of last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Gov. Bob McDonnell – like many in the gathered crowd – was teary-eyed as he reflected on the tragedy that took the lives of 20 young children. "I ask you to gather here this morning to stand in solidarity with the people of Connecticut, particularly the heartbroken town of Newtown," McDonnell said. "What happened last Friday at just about this time was something that was unfathomable I think in most of...

Sen. Dems start anti-arming school officials petition / Thu, 20 Dec 2012 08:53:57 PST
In repsonse to Gov. McDonnell's comments on Washington D.C.'s WTOP 93.5 FM Monday that it is time to have a discussion about allowing pu lic school officials to carry guns on campus, the state Senate Democratic Caucus began an online petition Thursday opposing the idea. "Governor Bob McDonnell says we should consider arming educators to defend our schools against gun violence," Senate Democratic Caucus chairman DOn McEachin wrote to supporters in an email. "You and I know that's the wrong answer. Giving teachers weapons and turning schools into armed camps is not the solution." Click here to view the Senate Democrats petition.

House Dems to push for Medicaid expansion, state-run health care exchange / Thu, 20 Dec 2012 08:41:33 PST
Members of the House of Delegates Democratic Caucus said they plan to push for Medicaid expansion and a state-run health care exchange in the upcoming General Assembly session despite Gov. Bob McDonnell's reluctance. House Democratic Caucus chairman Mark Sickles of Fairfax said at a press conference Thursday complying with these two provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act "should be at the top of the agenda" during the upcoming session. Last week McDonnell opted to go with a federal-based rather than a state-based health care exchange saying their were two many unanswered questions for the state to go it alone. The governor has also said he does not want to go with an optional expansion of Medicaid to 138 percent of thepoverty level because he...

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