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Morning Read: Virginia's Drone Paradox

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AM Read: Virginia's Drone Paradox

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Virginia is one of 28 applicants applying with the Federal Aviation Administration to become a future test site for drones, in hopes of luring big companies and high-paying tech jobs to the state.

There's just one problem: As the Washington Examiner points out, the state’s General Assembly recently passed legislation banning the use of drones in Virginia for two years.

The moratorium -- which still needs to be signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell -- would only ban law enforcement use of unmanned aircrafts and would not restrict research.

But the FAA application guidelines, according to the Examiner, says it will give preferential treatment to states that do not have laws restricting the use of drones in any capacity.

It’s unknown if McDonnell will sign the moratorium into law, but, in the meantime, it’s clear that the drone lobby will be pushing hard for him not to.

Six applicants will be selected to house test sites. Virginia is submitting its application as part of a multistate coalition with New Jersey and possibly Maryland.

IN OTHER NEWS:

* A strong headline on the front page of the New York Time’s Sunday paper says it all: “Virginia’s Feast on U.S. Funds Nears an End.” (New York Times)

* Mike DeBonis reports on the sharp racial divide between the District’s two biggest citizen activist groups and what this says about the place that Mayor Gray has dubbed “One City.” (Washington Post)

* A new poll found that only 49 percent of Marylanders currently approve of the job Gov. O’Malley is doing. (Washington Post)

* A D.C. judge approved a bid on Friday by the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies to purchase most assets of embattled businessman Jeffrey Thompson’s Chartered Health Plan Inc. for $5 million, allowing AmeriHealth to establish a Medicaid business in the city. (Washington Business Journal.)

* Gov. McDonnell passed landmark a transportation funding bill -- but the longtime anti-tax conservative politician undeniably did it by raising taxes. How will this play out on the national stage? (Washington Post)

* McDonnell may have brushed off a potential Bill Bolling independent gubernatorial candidacy last week, but Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Bolling would be a “formidable candidate.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

* Happy second anniversary to the probe of Mayor Vincent Gray’s shadow campaign! (Washington Examiner)

* Arlington County is working to collect tax debts from shuttered restaurants, and the Treasurer's Office "does not give up on or forget" any delinquencies. (ARLnow)

* Enforcing Virginia’s texting-while-driving ban poses some legal challenges. How do cops know if you are texting, and once they pull you over, can they check your phone to confirm if you were texting or not? (Daily Press)

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