The Woodbridge DMV on Caton Hill Road.

If you plan on renewing your Virginia driver’s license at a DMV office tomorrow, Saturday, March 18, 2023, you could be out of luck.

Today, the DMV says a system outage could lead to no residents being able to review their licenses on that date.

A DMV spokeswoman says online services could be available during the outage. however, you won’t be able to apply for a new license, renew, or replace a lost or stolen license.

The outage will also affect commercial driver’s licenses, learner permits, and driver privilege cards.

More in a DMV press release:

Driver’s license services may be unavailable at Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers statewide Saturday, March 18, as rescheduled Verizon network maintenance will impact access to an essential external licensing system, the National Driver Register (NDR).

By law, DMV is required to check the federal NDR database before issuing a driver’s license and without access to the system this Saturday, driver-related transactions are unavailable.
All DMV offices will be open for all other services, however, customers will be unable to apply for, renew or replace a driver’s license, learner’s permit, CDL, or driver privilege card. Transactions involving identification cards will not be affected.

Online renewal services may be available during the NDR outage, however, replacements of lost or stolen driver’s licenses may not be available. Most Virginians are eligible to renew online every other time they are required to update their license. You can renew online in seconds at



Virginia State Police

On Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, the Commonwealth graduated its 137th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 31 new troopers were presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.

Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke at the graduation ceremony.

The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crises, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 137th Basic Session began their 28 weeks of academic, physical, and practical training at the Academy on June 30, 2022.

The graduates of the 137th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and the countries of the Dominican Republic and Egypt.

Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their duty assignments across Virginia. For their final training phase, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

Virignia State Capitol

By Madison Hirneisen

(The Center Square) – A bill that would increase the standard tax deduction for both individual and joint filers, and lower Virginia’s top personal income tax rate was passed along party lines by a committee of lawmakers Wednesday.

Virginia lawmakers in the House of Delegates Finance Committee voted 12-9 to advance House Bill 2319, a bill that would increase the standard income tax deduction from $8,000 to $9,000 for individual filers and from $16,000 to $18,000 for joint filers. The measure would also reduce the top income tax rate from 5.75% to 5.5%.

The provisions in the bill align with the $1 billion in proposed tax cuts contained in Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s budget amendments, which he presented in December. The governor has touted his proposed tax cuts as a way to “compete to win” against other southern states, who he claims are attracting both people and businesses.

During a presentation to lawmakers Wednesday, Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings shared that the retention rate for college graduates in Virginia is 37%, which he says indicates the majority of graduates are relocating to other states for jobs after college.

“We’re educating a lot of very smart people in a great system, but we’re not retaining them to be an important part of our workforce,” Cummings said.

Supporters of HB 2319 contend the bill will result in savings for Virginia taxpayers and enhance workforce retention, while opponents have voiced concerns about impacts to state revenue as a result of cutting the income tax rate for top earners.

Under Virginia’s tax system, individuals earning more than $17,000 per year are in the top bracket and are taxed at 5.75%. Individuals making between $5,000 to $17,000 are taxed at 5%.

The author of HB 2319, Delegate Joseph McNamara, R-Roanoke, estimated the top marginal tax bracket applies to 85% of the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.

“By reducing this top bracket, we are providing meaningful tax reduction and an opportunity for our citizens and our taxpayers to experience a reduction in tax liability,” McNamara said Wednesday.

Opponents of the bill argue change is needed to make the state’s tax structure more progressive, and disagree with the bill’s provision to give top earners a tax break.

Megan Davis, a tax and budget policy analyst with The Commonwealth Institute, voiced opposition to the bill Wednesday, telling lawmakers that a permanent top rate tax reduction will cost Virginia upwards of $333 million per year – funding advocates say it could be used to pay for education, housing and health care.

“Rather than a tax cut that will result in permanent damages to revenues, we can make the state’s tax code fairer by ensuring wealthy individuals pay their fair share by establishing tax brackets to pay for tax policies like raising the standard deduction, improving earned income tax credit and establishing a State Child Tax Credit,” Davis said.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Del. Vivian Watts, D-Fairfax, introduced an amendment that would strike the provision of the bill reducing the top income tax rate. The proposed amendment was ultimately voted down by lawmakers on the committee.

Watts referenced a study conducted by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission on ways to make the state’s income tax more progressive, which recommended increasing taxes on higher earners and updating the state’s tax brackets to account for inflation.

Watts said she agreed with the bill’s provision to increase the standard deduction, but said reducing the top income tax rate “is one of the most regressive changes we could make.”

Lawmakers’ vote to advance the bill out of committee means the legislation cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly. In order to be enacted, it will need to receive bipartisan support among lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled state Senate.

In other committee action Wednesday, lawmakers also advanced a bill along party lines that would reduce the top corporate tax rate from 6% to 5%.

Delegate Candi Mundon King

Over the last few years, many Virginia officials have made it clear they don’t want the state to officially venerate Robert E. Lee anymore…After a Northern Virginia constituent asked about the issue, Del. Candi Mundon King, D-Prince William, says it’s time for the license plates to go too. And she’s filed a bill to get rid of them.

Read More

Virignia State Capitol

By Madison Hirneisen

(The Center Square) – A bill backed by Virginia Republican lawmakers to create “Education Success Accounts” to help parents pay for education expenses – including private school tuition – sparked debate among lawmakers Tuesday before clearing its first hurdle in a House of Delegates subcommittee.

House Bill 1508 proposes the creation of Virginia Education Success Accounts, which could be used by parents of a “qualified student” to pay for tuition to a private school, tutoring services, fees for Advanced Placement tests and school uniforms, among other specified expenses.

The bill defines a “qualified student” as a resident of the Commonwealth who is attending kindergarten or first grade for the first time, or a resident who is eligible to enroll in a public elementary or secondary school and has attended the school for at least one semester before applying for an account. The measure proposes using a portion of the state education funding allocated to each student and depositing those funds into the success accounts.

HB 1508 has emerged as one of several bills backed by Republican lawmakers having to do with “parental choice” and “parental rights” – a key campaign issue for Gov. Glenn Youngkin when he was running for governor.

Legislators in the House of Delegates K-12 Subcommittee ultimately voted to advance HB 1508 in a 6-3 vote Tuesday after hearing lengthy testimony from public commenters and lawmakers on both sides of the debate. Supporters of the measure argue the bill will give parents more choice over their child’s education needs, while opponents fear the bill will strip funding from public education.

“When education came around, it was one-size fits all – everyone goes into a classroom, you sit the same, you raise your hand the same, you’re taught the same,” the bill’s author, Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, said Tuesday. “We thought you learned the same and, well, we know that’s not the case.”

“What we need to do is create an opportunity where the parent has the ability to choose an educational experience that allows every child to reach their full potential,” the delegate added.

Other bill supporters argued the bill would provide funding for parents to choose “better” educational opportunities for their children. Educational leaders across the state voiced concern in October after the National Assessment of Educational Progress – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” – showed significant decreases in math and reading scores when compared to 2019.

“We all know the condition of our public schools – some are thriving, some are not,” Tichi Pickney Eppes, a former board member with Richmond City Public Schools, told committee members. “In the city of Richmond, unfortunately, not enough of them are, and our parents need options.”

Opponents of the bill expressed concern that public schools in Virginia have not been fully funded since the Great Recession, and argued the Education Success Accounts would take more money away from public education.

“What we’re concerned this bill will do is siphon money away from public education and leave the students who do stay in the schools falling further behind,” Stacy Haney, chief lobbyist with the Virginia School Boards Association, said Tuesday.

Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, was among the delegates who voted against the bill Tuesday, posing questions about what schools would be eligible for funding and voicing concern the bill would result in “pop-up schools with a lot of different curriculums and no quality control.”

“If I actually thought this would work. I would vote for it,” VanValkenburg said. “But it doesn’t work. It actually brings students less recreational opportunities, less extracurricular activities, less student achievement. We’re going to actually hurt the average student, not help them.”

The bill was re-referred and will be heard next in the House Appropriations Committee.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Today, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order #24, banning the use of certain Chinese-owned mobile phone applications and websites on state government technology.

The Executive Order bans TikTok and WeChat, and any other applications developed by ByteDance Limited or Tencent Holdings Limited on state government devices and wireless (WIFI) networks and requires businesses who contract with the state government to also prohibit the use of those applications on state-owned devices or IT infrastructure. The Executive Order applies to all Executive Offices and Executive Branch Agencies.

“TikTok and WeChat data are a channel to the Chinese Communist Party, and their continued presence represents a threat to national security, the intelligence community, and the personal privacy of every single American,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We are taking this step today to secure state government devices and wireless networks from the threat of infiltration and ensure that we safeguard the data and cybersecurity of state government.”

“All Americans must be vigilant to stop infiltration by the CCP and all hostile governments and entities who wish the United States harm,” said Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears.

“Not only does TikTok pose a threat to national security and consumer privacy, but studies have shown that it negatively impacts the mental health of our youth,”?said Attorney General Jason Miyares.?”In March, I joined a bipartisan coalition of 43 other attorneys general to investigate TikTok’s physical and mental impact on children. As this investigation continues, I am glad that Governor Youngkin is addressing the serious security risks TikTok poses for the Commonwealth.”

Executive Order #24 can be found here.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R)

By Madison Hirneisen

(The Center Square) – Gov. Glenn Youngkin proposed $1 billion in tax cuts as part of a list of updates he wants to make to the state’s two-year budget, which includes amendments to reduce Virginia’s corporate tax rate and individual income tax rate.

The proposed tax cuts come on top of $4 billion in tax relief included in the biennial state budget approved by the General Assembly and signed by Youngkin earlier this year. The governor touted his budget amendments to cut taxes as a way to compete with other states, such as Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, when it comes to business and personal income tax rates.

“Like business taxes, we must realize that people take into consideration what they pay in taxes when they decide where to live,” Youngkin said Thursday, listing several states with lower personal income tax rates than Virginia. “We must start walking down that same path – that same path to lower rates.”

“By setting ourselves on a committed path to an even lower rate, like Democrat-led North Carolina was able to do, we will send a clear signal to businesses that we want your jobs, and we are going to drive the Commonwealth economic engine even faster,” the governor added.

Youngkin’s proposal seeks to increase the standard income tax deduction to $9,000 for individuals and $18,000 for joint filers – fulfilling a campaign promise the governor made to double those amounts. The governor’s proposal also seeks to reduce the top personal income tax from 5.75% to 5.5%, which Youngkin estimates will save Virginians $700 million per year.

Youngkin also wants to decrease the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 5% – a move estimated to cost the state about $362 million in the current budget. The governor touted this a “first step toward an ultimate goal of 4% by the end of our administration.” The governor noted if his proposal is approved, Virginia’s business tax rate will be lower than Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

For small businesses, the governor’s proposed amendments would create a 10% deduction on business income, which is estimated to cost the state about $162 million.

Certain aspects of the tax plan – particularly, the reduction in the top individual income tax rate – are contingent on the state’s revenue position in the coming months. Youngkin acknowledged that several economic experts expect Virginia to “follow the national economy into a recession next year, and that recession will last at least six months.” If 2023 revenues come in below forecast, certain spending and tax reductions will be cut back.

In addition to the tax cuts, the governor’s budget amendments include $230 million for the state’s behavioral health system. The governor previewed this aspect of his amendments during an event in Richmond Wednesday, where he also unveiled his multi-year plan to reshape the state’s strained behavioral health system.

Youngkin also wants to see a package of $175 million included in the updated budget to pay bonuses to what he calls “quiet heroes” – teachers, nurses and law enforcement officers. For teachers in particular, Youngkin proposed 1% retention bonuses to be paid out in August and a $50 million program to reward $5,000 to teachers “based on merit.”

The governor’s amendments will be weighed by members of the House and Senate Money Committees when the Legislature convenes for its next session in mid-January.

The budget amendments were received with optimism by several Republican leaders in the House of Delegates Thursday.

“Governor Youngkin’s proposals will make Virginia more competitive on the national and international stage, and it will put more money back into the pockets of hardworking Virginia families who are struggling to deal with near record inflation,” House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R- Gate City, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, some aspects of the governor’s Thursday presentation received criticism from Democratic lawmakers.

“Youngkin speaking about the importance of teachers is the definition of irony,” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, tweeted in reference to the governor’s past comments on K-12 education and his tip line for parents to report “divisive” practices in school. “It’s as if he hasn’t heard his own rhetoric for two years going back to his campaign.”

Virignia State Capitol

This Christmas season marks the debut of the Baby Jesus at the Virginia State Capitol’s historic Bell Tower.

For the first time in memorable history, a Nativity Scene will be displayed on the same property that hosts the Virginia legislature and the governor’s mansion and executive offices, on Friday, December 9, 2022, from 11 a.m. until noon.

The Virginia State Capitol Nativity is one of many scheduled to be erected at state capitol buildings across America this Christmas, proof that the holiday celebrating the birth of Christ is alive and well in 2022.

Enshrining the Constitutional rights of freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and freedom of speech, the gathering will be led by Father James O’Reilly of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church. It will feature Christmas carols, Bible readings, and prayer that all Virginians will have a safe and blessed Christmas holiday.

Doug Lynch, Grand Knight of the Monsignor Francis J. Byrne Council of the Knights of Columbus, is one of the founding organizers of this event and he hopes that the celebration will be expanded in the future.

“Virginians have long celebrated their freedom to exercise their faith, even as far back as the lead-up to the American Revolution,” stated Lynch. “In June 1776, the Virginia House of Delegates adopted the Virginia Constitution, which contained the Virginia Declaration of Rights. When crafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was inspired by the Virginia Declaration’s vision of natural rights. Other states would borrow from Virginia when drafting their own state constitutions, and James Madison, Father of the Constitution, reportedly referred to the Virginia Declaration when framing the U.S. Bill of Rights.”

The event will take place at the Bell Tower at the Virginia State Capitol, 101 N 9th Street, in Richmond.


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