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Episode 21: Racial gerrymandering and the opposing redistricting maps

This week, Dr. Quentin Kidd from Christopher Newport University comes back on the show to talk about the latest in redistricting. We explore how the Republican map seeks to address racial gerrymandering for 11 unconstitutional districts and what a new map could mean for voters in 2019. We also say goodbye to Reema Amin, who's off to cover New York City Public Schools for Chalkbeat. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 20: The unique verbiage of the General Assembly

This week, we talk about those quirky phrases that lawmakers will use in the General Assembly that usually refer to legislation or official business -- most of the time. These sayings are probably odd and foreign to new observers of Virginia politics, but they are part of the tradition in the Capitol. We'll also introduce a new voice on the podcast. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 19: Tommy Norment and taxes

This week, we air a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment. As one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, Norment has a lot of influence over which topics get the spotlight in the General Assembly -- but not always. We talked to him about Gov. Ralph Northam's plan to give about $250 million in rebates to low-income Virginians who get earned income tax credits. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 18: Debating tax breaks for Virginians

On this week's episode of Virginia Politics with Ress and Reema, we discuss a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam that could deliver checks for several hundred dollars to low- and moderate-income Virginians. But House Republicans say the move ignores other classes of Virginians, so we explore the politics and what it could mean for tax reform in Virginia. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 17: Campaign controversy in the 2nd Congressional District

In this week’s podcast, we talk about the growing controversy of how independent Shaun Brown got on the ballot for the 2nd Congressional District seat. Who signed the petitions? Were the signatures legitimate? Were the signers even alive? We also have more of a fishy tale for you, about menhaden in Virginia, and why they're the most political fish out there. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 16: The minimum wage and Virginia

This week we talk about the minimum wage and where it stands in Virginia. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, joins the podcast to discuss the issue. We explore why the wage hasn't changed for years and discuss the unusual political alliances that could be formed over increasing it. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 15: Young voter misconceptions and Stewart vs. Kaine

On this week's episode, we talk about young voters and their growing involvement in elections, politics and even running for office. We talk to Virginia 21 policy director Gerica Goodman and get her take on some of the misconceptions about the millennial generation -- including an assumption on how they tend to vote. We'll also go over some highlights from the debate between Sen. Tim Kaine and his GOP challenger, Corey Stewart. Debate audio courtesy of PBS. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee...


Episode 14: Del. Brenda Pogge

On the 14th episode of Virginia Politics, Del. Brenda Pogge, R-Norge, joins the show to talk about her time as a legislator. She discusses her entry into politics and running for an office when she didn't want to be a politician. Pogge talks about her opposition to a tourism sales tax in the Historic Triangle, and she discusses her time as chair of the Virginia Disability Commission. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 13: Sen. Tim Kaine

On the 13th episode of Virginia Politics, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) sits down for a conversation with Dave Ress about the latest news in Congress. Kaine talks about the recent U.S. Supreme Court opening, and he discusses Congress' role in the use of military force. He talks about disagreements with former President Barack Obama. He also looks back at his time as a mayor and a governor. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 12: Redistricting and gerrymandering

This week, we talk about the possibility of redistricting in Virginia. Last week, a federal court decided that the House of Delegates had racially gerrymandered 11 districts -- six in Hampton Roads -- meaning that lines unfairly diluted the voting power of minorities. We explore how this affects the region. We also chat about the surprising resignation of John Whitbeck, the now ex-chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, and what it means for the party's future. Music: Puzzle Pieces...


Episode 11: High eviction rates in Virginia

On this episode, we veer away from the horserace of politics and focus on the issue of evictions in Virginia, which has received a spotlight over the past few months following a study from Princeton University that names five Virginia cities with some of the highest eviction rates. We hear debate on how to reduce evictions in the state of Virginia - both from affordable housing advocates and those who represent landlords - and we chat with two Newport News women who describe their past...


Episode 10: Congressional primary elections

On this week's episode of Virginia Politics with Ress and Reema, we talk about Tuesday's Congressional primaries. We look at who won support where in the Republican Senate primary, in which Prince William County board chairman Corey Stewart won his party's nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine. We also dig into turnout numbers, to see what they might tell us about who's enthusiastic for whom. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 9: Thomas Jefferson keeps the General Assembly on track

This week’s episode features a chat with Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, about how one very old Virginian – Thomas Jefferson, that is – helps keep Virginia’s General Assembly on track. The rules Jefferson wrote for how a legislature should conduct itself make it a bit easier to tackle difficult issues. Mullin walks us through his own experience with what Jefferson’s Manual dictates when a legislator, looking out for constituents, tries to make objectionable bills a bit easier to...


Episode 8: Medicaid expansion comes to Virginia

This week’s episode is about some of the background politics behind the General Assembly compromise on Medicaid expansion and the budget – it’s kind of a tale of two leaders, Speaker of the House Kirk Cox and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment. They took different stands on Medicaid expansion, and even some potshots at one another during the long – oh so long – journey to settle on a budget. But the two share similar challenges as leaders of caucuses where members aren’t unanimous on many...


Episode 7: The Medicaid impasse and a conversation with a Newport News delegate

This week, we give you a quick update on how the Senate has again delayed a vote over its budget -- and the prospect of Medicaid expansion. The move drew frustration from the governor, the House of Delegates and Democratic senators. But we'll spend most of the podcast talking to Del. Marcia 'Cia' Price, D-Newport News, about her entry into politics, the challenge of being a woman of color in the General Assembly and the phone call she made to Gov. Terry McAuliffe -- a strong Clinton...


Episode 6: Lawmakers offer strong words as budget discussion continues

On this week’s podcast, we let our lawmakers do more of the talking. We visited Richmond this week to catch up with the Senate as it reconvened for special session. We wanted to see what they’re thinking about the budget, as the House waits for senators to take action. Some lawmakers had strong words — for Medicaid, for the media and for each other. Music: Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere.


Episode 5: Wall Street looking at Virginia's cash reserves

This week, we talk about the piggy bank, but on a multi-million dollar level. A Wall Street firm and credit agencies have raised concerns about how much cash the state is keeping in its reserves. And as the budget stays unresolved and we get closer to the deadline, the nerves are kicking in -- from firms and lawmakers alike. We will also talk about the state of mental health services in the state and how it is likely to be a talking point, even on the local level.


Episode 4: Local elections and school safety

This week on Virginia Politics with Ress and Reema, we talk about a topic that has been on a lot of people's minds: school safety. State lawmakers have started the discussion — but not on guns — while one local town has proposed a tax rate increase to pay for its first school resource officer. We break down the local elections in Newport News and Hampton and talk voter turnout. We'll chat about state senators fundraising in the off-season and, of course, we'll also have an update on the...


Episode 3: Conflicts of interest and the state budget

On this week's episode, we talk about conflicts of interest — which lawmakers have them, how they're reported and why it matters. We raise questions about how transparent Virginia lawmakers are required to be as they take certain votes, and if everyone is following the rules. We'll also give you an update on what is happening with the budget impasse in Richmond, and do a brief chat with Daily Press education reporter Jane Hammond who caught up with Sen. Tim Kaine during his visit to NASA...


Episode 2: Medicaid and the state budget discussion continues

On this week’s episode, we discuss what is happening under the surface as state lawmakers continue Round 2 of trying to pass a state budget. Medicaid expansion is a key anchor of the House of Delegates budget plan, and delegates will need to win support from the state Senate for that. We talk about the potential peace offerings from one side to another in hopes to reach a deal. We also talk about a state senator who broke ranks to support Medicaid expansion, the consequences for him and...