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Governor Northam acts on budget, remaining bills from 2021 special session

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On March 31, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam took action on several important pieces of legislation, concluding his review of bills passed by the General Assembly during the 2021 special session. Newly-signed laws include measures to ensure schools provide safe, in-person learning opportunities for students during the pandemic, ban firearms at polling locations, extend eviction protections, and provide paid sick leave to home health care workers. Governor Northam also proposed several minor amendments to the state budget.

In total, Governor Northam took action on 552 bills and did not veto any legislation from the 2021 special session.

“Throughout this session, we have focused on responding to the ongoing public health and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and moving our Commonwealth forward,” said Governor Northam. “These new laws will increase support for Virginia families and businesses, ensure our children and teachers can safely return to classrooms, advance equity, and tackle systemic racism. I am extremely proud of the meaningful progress we have made to enact legislation as unprecedented as the challenges we are facing.”

Governor Northam signed the following key bills into law:


House Bill 1889, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price, extends eviction protections for renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic through July 1, 2022.

House Bill 1930, sponsored by Delegate Lashrecse Aird, prohibits public institutions of higher education from asking about an individual’s criminal record during the application process. The new law also prohibits colleges and universities from denying admission based on criminal history.

House Bill 1980, sponsored by Delegate David Reid, establishes the “Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program” to support the families of enslaved individuals who labored at Virginia colleges.

House Bill 2081, sponsored by Delegate Mark Levine, prohibits the possession of firearms within 40 feet of a polling place or electoral board meeting to certify the results of an election.

House Bill 2075, sponsored by Delegate Joshua Cole, designates U.S. Route 1 as “Emancipation Highway.” Route 1 is currently named “Jefferson Davis Highway” in several parts of Virginia.

House Bill 2132, sponsored by Delegate Danica Roem, eliminates the outdated and discriminatory “gay panic” defense.

House Bill 2137, sponsored by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, requires employers to provide paid sick leave to home health workers. This new law also prohibits employers from taking certain retaliatory actions against employees who use leave.

House Bill 2161, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Tran, and Senate Bill 1410, sponsored by Senator John Bell, prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing on the basis of a person’s military status.

House Bill 2332, sponsored by Delegate Mark Sickles, establishes the Commonwealth Health Reinsurance Program to expand access to health care and lower insurance premiums.

Senate Bill 1122, sponsored by Senator Bill Stanley, repeals the remaining provisions of the Habitual Offender Act. This will allow more than 13,000 people to obtain driver’s licenses.

Senate Bill 1138, sponsored by Senator Mamie Locke, updates several outdated criminal laws related to people living with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The reforms reflect contemporary public health knowledge and help to destigmatize these diseases.

Senate Bill 1261, sponsored by Senator John Edwards, provides for an appeal of right in every civil case and expands the Virginia Court of Appeals from 11 to 17 judges.

Senate Bill 1303, sponsored by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, requires school divisions to offer in-person learning consistent with public health guidelines, in accordance with the constitutional authority of school divisions, and while prioritizing the safety of students, teachers, and staff. All of Virginia’s 132 school divisions are currently offering in-person learning options or have approved plans to do so.

Senate Bill 1310, sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan, House Bill 2032, sponsored by Delegate Wendy Gooditis, and House Bill 1864, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price, ensure that domestic workers are covered by employee protections, fair pay laws, and the Virginia Human Rights Act.

Governor Northam proposed changes to the following bills:

House Bill 1899, sponsored by Delegate Sally Hudson, and Senate Bill 1252, sponsored by Senator Jeremy McPike, ends the Coal Employment and Production Incentive Tax Credit and Coalfield Employment Enhancement Tax Credit after the tax year 2021. The Governor’s amendments set the goal of dedicating the anticipated savings to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Southwest Virginia, for the expansion of course offerings in data science, computer science, and renewable energy.

House Bill 1992, sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Murphy, aligns Virginia to federal law by prohibiting individuals who have been convicted of assaulting a family member from possessing or purchasing a firearm. The Governor’s amendments clarify that this prohibition applies to individuals in a domestic partnership and extends the period of prohibition from three years to five years.

House Bill 2031, sponsored by Delegate Lashrecse Aird, prohibits local law enforcement agencies and campus police departments from purchasing or using facial recognition technology unless expressly permitted by the General Assembly. The Governor’s amendment corrects a technical error and ensures airports are exempt from these provisions, as intended.

House Bill 2038, sponsored by Delegate Don Scott, limits when a court can impose incarceration for probation or suspended sentence violation. Governor Northam amended the bill to ensure that a defendant who absconds or has outstanding restitution obligations remain on probation.

House Bill 2113, sponsored by Majority Leader Charniele Herring, and Senate Bill 1339, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell, create a process for the automatic sealing of criminal records and for petition-based sealing. The Governor’s amendment empowers state agencies to begin this process prior to 2025, as infrastructure allows.

House Bill 2138, sponsored by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, allows undocumented Virginians to receive an identification card. The Governor’s amendment is technical.

House Bill 2295, sponsored by Delegate Mark Levine, and Senate Bill 1381, sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, prohibit firearms in Capitol Square, Virginia State Capitol, and state-owned buildings. The Governor’s proposed amendment would provide an exemption for magistrates.

• Governor Northam proposed 18 amendments to House Bill 1800, the Commonwealth’s budget. The majority of the Governor’s budget amendments are language only and include measures to ensure flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, protect federal stimulus checks from debt-collectors, and move the corporate income tax reporting date from June 1, 2021, to July 1, 2021. The Governor is also proposing $250,000 for an independent review of the Office of the State Inspector General’s investigation of the Virginia Parole Board’s release of Vincent Martin.

Governor Northam’s letter to the General Assembly detailing his amendments to the revised state budget is available here. A full list of legislation signed by the Governor from the 2021 special session can be found here.

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AG Herring and Virginia NAACP launch effort to reform handling of officer-involved shootings

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Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia NAACP are launching a collaborative effort to identify and help implement reforms to the way the Commonwealth of Virginia and its law enforcement agencies handle investigations into officer-involved shooting deaths. The goal of the effort is to ensure the most possible transparency, impartiality, and public confidence in investigations into officer-involved shooting deaths.

“Investigations into officer-involved shootings should be handled by independent, unaffiliated agencies in order to avoid conflicts of interest, and to maximize the public’s confidence that justice will be served and the matter will be handled in the most honest, objective, and transparent way possible,” said Attorney General Herring. “Self-investigation of such a serious matter can understandably lead to doubt or skepticism about the outcome, which can, in turn, lead to mistrust and damaged relationships between agencies and the communities they serve. In recent years, different states have pursued unique and innovative strategies for handling these matters, and I intend to engage my colleagues around the county and the Commonwealth to build a consensus around a stronger process that promotes transparency, impartiality, and public trust.”

“I thank President Barnette and the Virginia NAACP for their leadership on this issue and their unwavering commitment to ensuring justice, safety, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians.”

Attorney General Herring has worked to promote safe, fair, and just policing as part of his broader efforts to reform Virginia’s criminal justice system. He launched the OAG’s largest-ever training initiative on 21st policing skills like implicit bias awareness, de-escalation, and cultural competency. He has also advocated for higher training standards for officers, as well as stronger accountability mechanisms to decertify officers who do not meet the Commonwealth’s standards. He has advocated for independent investigations of officer-involved shootings as a standard practice and worked with legislators to secure authority for the Attorney General to conduct “pattern or practice” investigations that can identify and stop illegal or unconstitutional policing, making Virginia one of the few states to enact this important accountability measure.


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Governor Northam announces over $6.3 million in GO Virginia grants to drive economic growth

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Governor Ralph Northam announced on April 9, 2021,  an allocation of more than $6.3 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to help the Commonwealth continue addressing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support a total of 15 projects, including eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program.

“This funding will go a long way towards supporting a broad-based economic recovery across our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “As we celebrate these projects, we must also recognize the leadership and many contributions of the late GO Virginia Board Chairman Tom Farrell, whose business acumen helped advance the GO Virginia mission of fostering lasting regional collaboration, and was instrumental in mounting a robust effort to spur Virginia’s economic recovery amid the pandemic. His legacy will live on through innovative, impactful programs like this one.”

The projects receiving funds will provide additional capacity to expand workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, support the growth of startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, grow Virginia’s portfolio of business-ready sites, and assist regions with mitigating the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards will leverage an additional $5.6 million in local and other non-state resources to assist with ongoing economic diversification and growth efforts throughout Virginia.

“From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and tourism, GO Virginia continues to spur innovative ideas and strategies to support businesses throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As Chair, Tom Farrell gave so much of his time to the betterment of Virginia communities, and he will be dearly missed.”


“The recent efforts of the GO Virginia program demonstrate the importance of strategic thinking in regions, and how addressing near-term economic needs can create long-term economic growth opportunities,” said GO Virginia Board Member and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. “This round of grants represents a combination of ingenuity, collaboration, and resiliency during a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on communities around the Commonwealth.”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 163 projects and awarded approximately $56.9 million to support regional economic development efforts. To learn more about GO Virginia, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.

2021 ROUND ONE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS

Energy Storage and Electrification Manufacturing Jobs | $486,366
Region 1: Counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell

Together with multiple partners, Appalachian Voices will execute a strategy to build a new, high-wage industry cluster around energy storage electrification. The project will also provide technical assistance to existing manufacturers as they diversify and expand sales into these new markets.

Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center | $99,360
Region 2: Montgomery County and the city of Roanoke

The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) will develop a market study, conceptual design, and associated operational plan to support the life science ecosystem in Blacksburg and Roanoke with flexible laboratory space. This space will ultimately support commercial entities and startup companies in the life sciences sector while providing a focal point to keep locally grown talent in the region.

SOVA Innovation Hub and Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development Entrepreneurship and Innovation Implementation Project | $449,000
Region 3: Counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Halifax, Patrick, and Prince Edward

The SOVA Innovation Hub, in partnership with the Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development, will launch a series of entrepreneurship training, youth entrepreneurship, and capital access programming. Funding will support the creation of new jobs by building entrepreneurship capacity and a stronger, more equitable region-wide network of resources for startups and early-stage companies.

Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education | $613,000
Region 4: Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, in partnership with Richard Bland College, will establish a Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter in Virginia and launch an Advanced Manufacturing Technician program. Funding will support the development of new hands-on learning space for advanced manufacturing and new training capacity for jobs that are in high demand by area manufacturers.

757 Collab Bridge | $32,000
Region 5: Cities of Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk

757 Collab, a new venture of 757 Accelerate and 757 Angels, will provide rent-free space and essential programming for 25-30 startup companies each year. This grant will support the ongoing activities of 757 Accelerate and 757 Startup Studios as they develop the new 757 Collab organization.

Richmond County Commerce Center Expansion | $1,223,974
Region 6: Counties of Richmond and Westmoreland, and the town of Warsaw

Richmond County, in partnership with Westmoreland County, will expand the Richmond County Commerce Center to develop two business-ready sites, totaling 45 acres. The partnership of these localities will contribute to the joint promotion and marketing of the area and provide space for new and expanding businesses.

Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative | $1,287,580
Region 7: Counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and the city of Fairfax

Smart City Works will help establish Northern Virginia as a center of excellence for urban technology innovation and a top destination for digital technology companies to build and grow their businesses. Funding will support the growth of high-tech startup companies through the introduction of capital investment opportunities, the expansion of business acceleration programs, and the creation of pathways to successfully deliver new products to the marketplace.

Shenandoah Valley Sites Enhancement Program | $821,000
Region 8: Counties of Augusta, Frederick, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren

The Shenandoah Valley Partnership will lead an effort to advance six regionally significant sites, totaling 1,112 acres, for potential new or expanding businesses in the region’s targeted industries.

ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY GRANTS

Virginia Restaurant and Hotel Workforce COVID Recovery and Upskilling Program | $132,500
Region 4: Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico, and the city of Richmond

The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association will support the restaurant and hospitality industry by offering COVID-related skills training to unemployed and underemployed restaurant and hotel workers. This initiative will also further develop an industry-specific job board to support ongoing industry recovery efforts.

Engineering Interns + Manufacturers = Success Squared (S2) | $39,200
Region 4: County of Prince George and the city of Hopewell

The College of Engineering and Technology at Virginia State University will create an internship program to support regional manufacturing companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of a semester, interns will develop projects focused on a company’s specific needs related to economic distress brought on by the pandemic, while also getting the hands-on experience needed to round out their degrees.

Startup Stability Program | $197,000
Region 5: Cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Development Foundation will support small businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic through subsidized co-working space and mentoring services.

Marine Trades Training Program Expansion | $99,137
Region 5: Cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk

Tidewater Community College’s Marine Trades Training Program will expand its welding and marine coatings programs at the Skilled Trades Academy in Portsmouth. The welding program will be expanded by 33 percent to accommodate an additional 40 students per year, and the marine coating program will be relocated and expanded to support an additional 84 students per year.

Virginia Cyber Skills Academy | $699,995
Region 7: Counties of Arlington and Loudoun and the city of Alexandria

The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu and the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) will train individuals whose employment was impacted by the pandemic for high-demand cybersecurity roles. All courses and certifications will be provided online at no cost to students, and this project will assist graduates with obtaining employment with area technology companies.

Local Ordering, Communication, and Agricultural Logistics Initiative | $60,602
Region 8: County of Page and cities of Harrisonburg and Roanoke

Common Grain Alliance (CGA) will provide support and build cooperative relationships between farmers, local producers, and distributors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will leverage existing web-based applications with an online marketplace to increase sales and enhance the resiliency of the industry through the creation of an online platform to facilitate supply chain logistics and new technology to streamline food sales, storage access, and distribution.

Central Virginia Small Business Development Center Resiliency | $131,220
Region 9: Counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock, and the city of Charlottesville

The Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will address growth challenges and improve economic resiliency among area businesses by enhancing firms’ digital presence and e-commerce capabilities. Additionally, this funding will help increase SBDC’s capacity to serve the region’s business development needs, emphasizing services to rural and under-resourced communities.

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Amendment to new law protects stimulus payments from garnishment/seizure by creditors and debt collectors

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An amendment to a new law from Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Delegate Hala Ayala will ensure that the entirety of the most recent round of stimulus payments help Virginians support themselves and their families during the COVID crisis rather than getting swept up by debt collectors and creditors. The initial bill was passed during last year’s special legislative session after it was discovered that the initial round of support payments issued by Congress as part of the CARES Act was left vulnerable to seizure or garnishment.

“These federal stimulus payments are meant to go towards helping Virginia families put food on the table, keep the lights on, purchase medical supplies, and other necessities,” said Attorney General Herring. “Virginians have dealt with so much over the past year, and they should not have to add worrying about debt collectors or creditors coming after their much-needed stimulus money to that list. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, putting Virginians first must always be our top priority and I want to thank Delegate Ayala for her partnership on this important legislation.”

“Families across the Commonwealth are still struggling to make ends meet during this uncertain economic time and it’s so important that any federal stimulus payments go towards food, utilities, rent, and other necessities,” said Delegate Ayala. “Attorney General Herring and I recognized early on that garnishment of these payments could be a serious problem and I’m so glad we were able to come up with this solution. These unprecedented times have forced us to come up with new and innovative ways to help and protect Virginians and I want to thank Attorney General Herring for his help in getting this legislation passed.”

When it was discovered that CARES Act relief payments were not explicitly protected from garnishment, Attorney General Herring urged then U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to take steps to ensure the payments would benefit struggling Americans rather than creditors and debt collectors. When the Trump Administration failed to act, Attorney General Herring pursued a state-level solution to ensure these payments benefit Virginians who need help.


During the 2020 COVID and Criminal Justice Reform Special Session, the General Assembly passed HB5068 from Attorney General Herring and Delegate Hala Ayala with bipartisan support. The bill exempts up to $1,200 state and federal emergency relief payments from garnishment, attachment, and other legal creditor process seizures. It included an emergency clause ensuring it went into effect immediately upon Governor Northam’s signature. The amendment to HB5068 ensures that Virginians are able to keep the entirety of their federal stimulus payments, protecting that money from debt collectors and creditors.

If any Virginian believes that their economic relief payment has been unlawfully garnished or seized, they should assert their rights under § 34-28.3. Emergency relief payments exempt directly from the relevant collections agency or financial institution.

The bill was part of Attorney General Herring’s 2020 COVID legislative package that included garnishment/seizure protection for relief payments, new laws to protect Virginians and Virginia hospitals and businesses from price gouging on PPE and other necessities, measures to help Virginians stay in their homes and keep utilities connected, and measures to ensure safe voting.

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Governor Northam announces $46.6 million in federal funding for Virginia private schools

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On April 8, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam invited eligible Virginia private schools to apply for funding from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act approved by Congress in December 2020.

The CRRSA Act includes $2.75 billion in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding for the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) program and Virginia received an allocation of $46.6 million. Non-public schools do not receive direct awards or allocations under the EANS program. Rather, state education departments use EANS funds to procure services and assistance requested by eligible schools in their applications.

In total, Virginia will receive approximately $993 million in funding for PreK-12 education from the CRRSA Act, with $946 million benefitting Virginia’s PreK-12 public schools. $845 million of those funds are currently available to Virginia’s 132 public school divisions, with $101 million set aside for statewide education initiatives such as enhancing student literacy, providing extended year learning opportunities, and increasing digital instruction tools for educators.

“All of our students and educators have endured tremendous educational disruptions over the past year,” said Governor Northam. “These funds will help our private schools address pandemic-related operating costs and ensure they can continue to meet the individual needs of their students during this challenging time and as we move forward.”


The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden in March, includes $122 billion to support the recovery efforts of K-12 schools nationwide. Ninety percent of the funding will go directly to local school districts based on the formula for distributing federal Title I funds. Ten percent of the funding will support state-level efforts to help schools recover from the pandemic. Virginia will receive $2.1 billion, with $1.9 billion going directly to school divisions, and approximately $200 million reserved to support state-level K-12 recovery initiatives.

“This EANS program funding will support Virginia’s private K-12 schools as they support educators and continue to provide high-quality instruction to their students,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “The federal CRRSA Act has delivered critical resources to Virginia’s education system, and these funds specifically dedicated to K-12 private schools will go far to lift schools up as they work to address learning loss.”

According to the Virginia Council on Private Education (VCPE), there are 488 accredited K-12 private schools in the commonwealth serving approximately 112,000 students. In Virginia, eligible non-public schools are K-12 private schools with state-recognized accreditation through the VCPE and private schools that certify compliance with the state laws that apply to schools accredited through VCPE. The CRRSA Act requires state education departments to prioritize applications based on enrollment of low-income students and the severity of the impact of the pandemic on the school.

“Virginia’s private schools sincerely thank Governor Northam for recognizing the impact COVID-19 has had on all school-aged children, including the approximately 11 percent of Virginia’s students who attend private schools, by applying for this federal funding,” said VCPE Executive Director Grace Turner Creasey. “The EANS program funding mechanism sends necessary assistance to private schools as they continue to ensure the health, safety and wellness of students during this global pandemic.”

Approved services and assistance for non-public schools under the CRRSA Act include, but are not limited to:

• Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities;

• Personal protective equipment;

• Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems;

• Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of personal protective equipment, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases;

• Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing;

• Other materials, supplies, or equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety; and

• Educational technology to assist students, educators, and other staff with remote or hybrid learning.

“I want to thank Governor Northam for applying for Virginia’s EANS allocation, which will allow the Virginia Department of Education to assist the Commonwealth’s non-public schools by securing services, supplies, and assistance,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane. “These resources will help keep their students and teachers healthy and safe, and help private schools recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Eligible private schools must submit a completed application to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) by April 26. The application form and additional information on the EANS program are available here.

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Virginia among 15 East Coast states participating in annual “I-95 Drive to Save Lives”

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Virginia will be among 15 states, from Maine to Florida, participating in a two-day “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety initiative along Interstate 95. On Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021, Virginia State Police will be dedicating additional patrol resources to Interstate 95 traffic safety enforcement. Motorists can expect to see an increased presence of troopers along Virginia’s entire 178 miles of I-95, from the border of North Carolina to Maryland. This year the initiative coincides with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Virginia’s new hands-free law, this enhanced enforcement initiative along the East Coast couldn’t come at a better time,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “This time of year people are on the road for Spring Break, vacations and outdoor adventuring. Keeping your eyes on the road, buckling up, complying with posted speed limits and never driving intoxicated, will help ensure your spring travels are safe, especially along the I-95 corridor.”

In 2020, Virginia recorded 37 traffic crash fatalities on I-95, six of which involved distracted driving. Additionally, five of those crashes involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In all, 625 people lost their lives in crashes along the entire 1,920 miles of I-95 last year.

In addition to complying with traffic laws, drivers are reminded that as of January 1, 2021, it is illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways. For more information on the new law, visit www.phonedown.org.



With increased patrols, State Police also remind drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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Governor Northam announces international telecommunications company to expand, create up to 200 new jobs in Prince William County

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On April 7, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced that SES, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company, will invest $17 million to merge its satellite and network operations at a new facility in Prince William County. The company will consolidate operations, technology, engineering, and support functions at 8050 Piney Branch Lane, establishing a hub for the company’s technology and operations activities across the United States. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland and Washington, D.C. for the project, which will create up to 200 net new jobs by 2026.

“The growing presence of SES in Prince William County is an indication that the region and the Commonwealth have the infrastructure, workforce, and strategic access to help technology businesses thrive,” said Governor Northam. “Northern Virginia is renowned for its world-class technology talent pipeline, which will pay significant dividends for SES as the company continues to grow and execute its business plan.”

SES is a leader in global content connectivity solutions, supplying video and data connectivity services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, and governments around the world. SES operates the only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b constellation. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES delivers high-quality connectivity solutions on land, at sea, or in the air. SES’s video network carries over 8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of over 360 million households, delivering managed media services for linear and non-linear content.

“SES’s new technology and operations hub is a tremendous win for Prince William County that will influence worldwide connectivity and strengthen the Commonwealth’s position as a tech leader,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Corporate partners like SES are helping to accelerate Virginia’s economic recovery, and we thank the company for creating up to 200 high-quality jobs.”


“In consolidating our local SES satellite and network operations and selecting a U.S. hub to house them all, we needed to consider our employees’ commutes, the locale of our existing satellite infrastructure investments, and access to a broader engineering talent pool,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “We are pleased that we have landed on the ideal location of Prince William County, as this new hub provides SES with the space to continue providing seamless services and aligns with our goal to deliver future-proof and innovative solutions for customers while adapting how we will work in a post-pandemic world. With more people demanding more connectivity and data services, we will also be looking at engaging top talent across Virginia to grow our technology and global services teams in the coming months and would welcome candidates’ applications from the area.”

Tom Birnbach, President and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, and Samuel Heiber, Principal at Cresa, the commercial real estate firm representing SES, through a strategic assessment determined Prince William County met all of SES’s goals and objectives for the future growth of its U.S. technology and operations hub.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Prince William County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Prince William County with the project. SES is eligible to receive benefits from the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created. Funding and services to support SES employee recruitment and training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“We are thrilled to see an international company like SES establish their U.S. technology and operations hub in Prince William County,” said Ann B. Wheeler, Chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “This expansion will create up to 200 new high-tech jobs over five years for our educated workforce and further support the implementation of technologies and infrastructure that will allow for uninterrupted connectivity in our community and beyond.”

“Virginia continues to attract new and innovative businesses, and I am proud to welcome SES to the 13th Senate District,” said Senator John Bell. “Prince William County will gain up to 200 new telecommunication jobs through this investment and will continue to draw upon the specialized talents and skillsets of our workforce. Bringing new jobs to Prince William County will continue to bolster our economy and strengthen our communities.”

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Feels like: 55°F
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Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 0
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Upcoming Events

Apr
13
Tue
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 13 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 13 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
17
Sat
all-day Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Apr 17 all-day
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
This tried and true Epic 24-hour AR will test your biking, paddling, trekking, and navigation skills as you explore two state parks (one of them brand new!) and national forest lands. Join soloists and teams[...]
9:00 am Basic Pistol Shooting Class @ Warren County Community Center
Basic Pistol Shooting Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 17 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Basic Pistol Shooting Class @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department and Defensive Firearms of Virginia, LLC will be holding a Basic Pistol Shooting Class for those interested on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.[...]
10:00 am 2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 17 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
2nd United States Cavalry - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Get up-close and personal with history. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the 2nd US Cavalry as they perform daily tasks of the Union soldiers. Activities[...]
Apr
18
Sun
9:30 am Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and prompts, we[...]
10:00 am 2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
2nd United States Cavalry - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Get up-close and personal with history. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the 2nd US Cavalry as they perform daily tasks of the Union soldiers. Activities[...]
Apr
20
Tue
all-day Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department Mad Science Kit contains experiments that focus on fun, interactivity, and entertainment. Participants ages 6-12 will be able to perform four (4) experiments, including Dyed Carnations, Lava Lamps,[...]
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]