DPVA Weekly Top 5 for January 12, 2011

Welcome to the DPVA Weekly Top 5, your review of the top five stories from the past week and a look at what’s ahead.

1. McDonnell embarks on ‘massive’ spending spree

Bob McDonnell promised last week to continue spending more money than the Commonwealth is collecting to finance his priorities. While no one denies the critical need to fund transportation, education and other programs, the Governor’s Gilmore-esque brand of deficit spending is under fire from people on all sides of the political spectrum.

To read more about the Governor’s costly agenda, click here.  To read the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s criticism of McDonnell’s ‘shell game’ approach to the budget, click here.

2. Cuccinelli, Marshall and Company’s war on academic freedom moves forward

Ken Cuccinelli’s continued effort to force the University of Virginia to turn over documents related to scientific research on climate change was bolstered by an outside group of climate deniers who filed a Freedom of Information Act Request last week seeking the same documents Cuccinelli tried unsuccessfully to subpoena last year.

Cuccinelli has taken his case to the Virginia Supreme Court. To read more Ken Cuccinelli and Co’s FOIA frenzy click here.

3. McEachin takes on employment discrimination

As we kick off the 2011 legislative session, State Senator Donald McEachin took a moment to film a short video for the DPVA explaining his Fairness and Justice Act which seeks to end discrimination in state government on the basis of sexual orientation.

To watch the video click here. To become a citizen cosponsor of the Fairness and Justice Act click here: www.DonaldMcEachin.com

4. Virginians question McDonnell’s retirement system proposal

Virginia workers and legislative leaders expressed dismay last week about Bob McDonnell’s proposal to require state employees to pay into their retirement accounts for the first time since 1983. The net result of his proposal would be a 2% pay cut for state employees.

McDonnell’s proposal comes a year after he balanced the budget by deferring payment into the Virginia Retirement System, which he now seems to have realized is in danger of becoming insolvent.

To read more about the reactions to the Governor’s VRS plan click here.

5. Marshall Tops Himself with Virginia Currency Proposal

Delegate Bob Marshall may have exceeded himself last week when he announced his plan to introduce legislation requiring Virginia to mine its own gold and silver coins to produce its own currency. Marshall says his intention is to create competition for U.S. currency.

To read more about Bob Marshall’s Virginia currency bill, click here.