Afternoon Read: Release of Virginia Abortion Clinic Regulations Postponed - NBC4 Washington
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Afternoon Read: Release of Virginia Abortion Clinic Regulations Postponed



    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration was scheduled to release proposed permanent regulations for abortion clinics Friday but announced that the release date has been pushed back until next week.

    The regulation would replace emergency rules that went into effect Dec. 31 and have angered abortion rights activists.

    The regulations are some of the toughest in the country, according to The Washington Post, and treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgery centers and require that they meet hospital-like regulations.

    The Virginia Board of Health is developing permanent rules, but it is still unclear how much they will differ from the emergency regulations.

    The public will have the opportunity to comment on the regulations once they’re released. Abortion advocates planned to speak out against them Friday outside, according to The Post.

    * Transportation funding continues to be a hot topic in Virginia.

    The Virginian-Pilot editorial board argues that raising the stagnant gas tax wouldn’t necessarily cost drivers that much more at the pump and could potentially go a long way in funding necessary transportation projects.

    "There are many Virginians who would like to see the state's gas tax increased to help replenish an empty transportation fund and pay for a backlog of projects in Hampton Roads and elsewhere. If the state's gas tax had been as high as North Carolina's in 2009, Virginia would have collected an additional $745 million - enough to expand the Midtown Tunnel without any need for a toll.

    Opponents of an increase argue that Virginians can't afford or shouldn't have to pay a gas tax as high as North Carolina's.

    But the truth is that Virginians are already paying the equivalent of North Carolina's tax at the pump. The "tax" isn't going to the state's transportation fund, though. It's going to the oil industry.

    Would raising Virginia's gas tax cause pump prices to soar? Or would retailers stop collecting their "tax" and absorb the increase in the state gas tax?

    Virginia drivers - and their elected officials - should ponder those questions the next time they refill."

    Bearing Drift responded to the editorial, saying that Democrats often lobby for higher gas taxes, but it’s actually their fault that we don’t have one.

    Governor McDonnell has done more for transportation than Mark Warner and Tim Kaine combined. But if you listen to Democrats, it’s Republicans who stand in the way on transportation funding.

    Wrong! Democrats for Governor haven’t campaigned for a gas tax increase since it was last raised in the mid 80s.

    If Democrats want to raise the gas tax so badly, then nominate a Democratic candidate for Governor who actually agrees with you and says so!

    * The final of the three Virginia GOP primary senate debates is Friday evening in Falls Church, where Jamie Radtke, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson, Delegate Bob Marshall and frontrunner George Allen will face-off.

    * The driver who struck and killed a Maryland Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 was convicted of failing to remain at the scene of an accident, the Associated Press reports.

    Christy Littleford faces up to 10 years in prison for the crash that killed Natasha Pettigrew while she was biking on Sept. 19, 2010.

    Littleford is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 3.