Gov. McAuliffe Addresses Lawmakers For The First Time - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Gov. McAuliffe Addresses Lawmakers For The First Time

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two days after taking the oath of office, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has emphasized the need to expand Medicaid eligibility in a speech to the state's General Assembly.
    
McAuliffe says in an advance copy of his address Monday evening that too many Virginians lack health coverage and the state cannot afford to forgo $2.1 billion in federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.
    
Leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates have steadfastly rejected McAuliffe's overtures to expand Medicaid, saying that would ultimately be too costly for the state.
    
McAuliffe also says tolls are too high for drivers on Virginia's Midtown Tunnel Project linking Norfolk and Portsmouth. The new governor says he had directed the secretary of transportation to present a revised tolling rate schedule shortly.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will push for improvements in workforce training.
    
In his first State of the Commonwealth speech Monday night, the Democrat said the state's current system is cumbersome, confusing and often inefficient. He said his goals are to streamline the system and listen to the suggestions of employers.
    
Without offering specifics, he said Virginia veterans should get special attention in workforce training reforms. He said many civilian jobs, from health care to energy to education, are ideally suited for veterans. McAuliffe said creating opportunities for veterans in the civilian workforce would give Virginia a competitive edge.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will ask legislators to spend an additional $5 million to help the expensive northern Virginia region compete for top-notch public school teachers.
    
The Democrat made the announcement in his first State of the Commonwealth address Monday night to the General Assembly.
    
McAuliffe also said he supports expanding pre-kindergarten programs and reforming the Standards of Learning tests.
    
He said he got an earful from Virginians about the SOLs on the campaign trail. People complained about over-testing students and suggested using essay tests to measure knowledge and cognitive reasoning.
    
McAuliffe said the SOLs have been a success, but they're a generation old and need to be modified.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe used his first State of the Commonwealth speech to announce a couple of bits of positive economic development news.
    
He told the General Assembly on Monday night that 18 months after announcing it was ceasing operations in Virginia, Carnival cruise lines intends to resume sailing from Norfolk in the spring and fall of 2015. McAuliffe said this will not only generate tourism revenue but will be a catalyst for job growth.
    
The Democrat said his goal is to encourage Carnival to bring more ship calls and, ultimately, regular homeport service to downtown Norfolk.
    
McAuliffe also announced the cyber security company Telos Corporation will invest $5 million in its Loudoun County operations and create 160 new high-tech jobs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - After spending most of his career working for partisan causes, Virginia's new Democratic governor is calling for nonpartisan redistricting of legislative boundaries.
    
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the former national Democratic chairman and chief fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, said in his State of the Commonwealth speech Monday night that he will work with other Virginia leaders for legislation to take the politics out of the once-a-decade reapportionment process. Currently, the majority party in the General Assembly controls redistricting.
    
McAuliffe said legislative districts should keep communities intact and not be drawn for the political benefit of members, no matter which party they represent.
    
He made the appeal to a Republican-controlled House and closely divided Senate that could tip either way depending on the outcome of two special elections.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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