Afternoon Read: McDonnell Won’t Call Special Session to Set Up Health Care


Top GOP leaders in Virginia have been outspoken with their criticism of Obama’s health care reforms, and the recent Supreme Court decision doesn’t seem to be changing their views.

Gov. Bob McDonnell told legislators today that he sees no need to hold a special legislative session to try to decide whether Virginia should create a benefits exchange or opt to expand Medicaid, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

In a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, McDonnell said there are too many unanswered questions to make the decision now and added that he hopes the law ultimately gets overturned.

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Via RTD:

"In the coming months, Secretary Bill Hazel and the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI) will continue to work to develop the best possible reforms to meet the healthcare needs of our citizens in the least expensive and bureaucratic way," McDonnell wrote.

"It remains my hope that a repeal of the existing law will occur after the next election, and that Congress will enact prudent market based health reforms, and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens.

According to the RTD, Virginia has said that expanding Medicaid would cost it $2.2 billion over 10 years, even with the federal government paying most of the costs.

* The D.C. Council passed sweeping taxicab modernization legislation that will institute GPS, credit card readers, a universal color scheme and a slew of driver education and training plans.

These policies will start to go into effect by the end of the year. Read more here.

* Virginia was ousted by Texas as the top state in the country for business, according to CNBC’s annual list of the best states in the nation to do business.

Virginia dropped to #3 because its economy is linked to federal spending and its transportation infrastructure is in need of repair.

Utah placed second.

* Virginia is expected to have “modest” job growth in 2012 and won’t reach its pre-recession employment level until next year, a new report commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy found.

The RTD reported on the study and wrote that employment in the state is projected to expand 1.7 percent this year after increasing 1.5 percent in 2011. In 2013, the state’s employment growth is expected to accelerate to 1.9 percent.

*A campaign aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has admitted in federal court that Gray was elected in 2010 with the aid of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit campaign funds from a D.C. businessman.

There has been no indication that Grey knew about the plan. Read more here.

* Opponents of Maryland’s same-sex marriage law were officially notified Tuesday that they had turned in enough valid petitions to trigger a referendum and bring the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage to voters in November, reports the Washington Post.

On the other side of the debate, a new web video features African-Americans explaining they support same sex marriages. 

* Tareq Salahi -- the alleged White House wedding crasher who is now apparently running for governor of Virginia -- isn't giving up on his $50 million lawsuit against his soon-to-be ex-wife and her new lover, Neal Schon, a member of the band Journey.

A judge in Warren County dismissed his case Monday but Salahi said he will take his case to the Supreme Court, the Washingtonian said. 

* Washington City Paper didsome deep investigative work and looked up the Wikipedia edits associated with a D.C. government IP address.

Among them:

At least one D.C. government employee is committed to accurate depictions of the Playboy Mansion. They edited a description of the mansion that inaccurately described it as having 22 bedrooms, and corrected it to say the mansion has only 22 rooms.

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