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VPM Daily Newscast: January 27, 2022

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.        

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Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Thursday, January 27, 2022 

Democrats in Virginia’s Senate deals blow to major campaign promise from new Attorney General

Reported by VPM News’ Ben Paviour

On Wednesday, a senate committee rejected a proposal which would have broadened the attorney general’s power. 

Attorney General Jason Miyares’ proposal would have allowed the attorney general to take up local sex crime cases involving minors, even if the local commonwealth’s attorney opposed the intervention. Prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, who are normally at odds in legislative battles, were united in their opposition to this bill. One Commonwealth’s Attorney argued that it would be an overreach of power. The proposal is still alive in the House of Delegates. If it survives in that chamber, but it would be brought up again in the same Senate committee where it was voted down. 

Virginia man pleads guilty to charges related to Capitol Insurrection  

Reported by WHRO’s Ryan Murphy 

A Newport News man photographed inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor trespassing charges. Robert Packer, 57, was arrested a week after the January 6th riot. Court documents say Packer was identified by someone who knew him as a regular customer at a convenience store near Newport News. He faces up to six months in jail for the trespassing charges and will be sentenced in April. Packer joins nearly 200 others who have pleaded guilty to federal crimes related to the Capitol riot.

What’s happening with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative?   

Reported by VPM News’ Patrick Larsen 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has faced criticism from Democrats and environmentalists for wanting Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI. The program puts a cap on carbon emissions for its 11 member states. Power companies buy allowances for their emissions through auctions - in Virginia, proceeds from those auctions go into a fund for energy efficiency and flood resiliency projects statewide. Legal experts say it’s not as easy as filing an executive order to get out of RGGI. Joining the initiative is based in state law, so a full repeal would have to come from lawmakers. 

Bill to Extending Oyster Harvesting Season Heads to state Senate 

Reported by VPM News Intern Meghan McIntyre 

Virginia’s oyster harvesting season currently lasts from October 1st to March 1st. But a bill is heading to the Senate floor that would give a state commission power to extend the season by a month, specifically for workers who use patent tongs. These devices are large, claw-like machines that extract oysters. Patent tongs often produce greater yields compared to other harvesting methods, like hand tongs. If approved, this extension could provide additional income for workers in the industry, who often miss days of work because of bad weather.  

This reporting was done in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Capital News Service. 

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