🐦 Youngkin drops the veto hammer

Also: How Virginia emptied more prisons than every other state

Good morning, DMV!

Today’s factoid of the day is: There was a third co-founder of Apple that you may not have heard about. His name is Ronald Wayne, and he sold his 10 percent stake of the company for $800 in 1976.


Governor Glenn Youngkin takes action on fifty new bills

Clap Applause GIF by GIPHY News

The current Virginia General Assembly session has been adjourned.

Here's a quick rundown on the fifty bills Governor Youngkin acted on:

  • Youngkin signed thirty bills into law, while also vetoing twenty bills that he believes would undermine economic progress made in Virginia.

    (Here’s a tracker for the thirty bills which were approved).

  • Some specific bills he vetoed aimed to mandate gender/diversity requirements for corporate boards, restrict use of instructional materials with explicit content, prohibit employers asking about salary history, and more. The official list of vetos can be read here.


Virginia has largest prison population decline in U.S.

Monochrome Prison Cell

The Virginia prison population had the largest decline (10.5%) of all states between 2021 and 2022.

Some statistics:

  • Admissions fell by 9.4%, with 1,000 fewer new court commitments to Virginia prisons in 2022.

  • The female prison population declined 18% while the male population dropped 9.9%.

These drops are due to Virginia implementing new policies allowing some incarcerated people to earn credits for early release, raising the felony larceny threshold, and decriminalizing minor marijuana possession.

Despite this progress, Virginia's incarceration rate of 749 per 100,000 residents still exceeds the national level. Racial disparities also persist, with black Virginians imprisoned at over 4 times the rate of whites in state prisons.

Lawmakers are currently expected to reconsider a defeated bill allowing some long-serving prisoners to petition for sentence reductions when the legislature reconvenes.


Northern Virginia remains the data center capitol of the world

data center dark GIF by Faith Holland

Northern Virginia remains the world's largest data center market by a wide margin, according to a new report from JLL.

In 2023, nearly 4,000 megawatts of new multi-tenant and single-tenant data center capacity was delivered or under construction in Northern Virginia, setting a record.

The market now totals 51 million square feet of operating space and requires enough electricity to power 800,000 homes - triple the capacity of the #2 market Singapore.

While the utility company Dominion Energy has historically met this demand, it has recently struggled to keep pace as data center power needs doubled from 2018-2022 and are projected to double again by 2028.

New transmission lines are under construction to address the power constraints. But data centers are facing pushback in some jurisdictions over land use and environmental impacts of massive campuses planned. Developers are looking to secondary markets like Fauquier County or central Ohio as potential replacements.

Despite the challenges, the lucrative Northern Virginia market shows no signs of slowing for major cloud providers which account for 82% of occupancy.


  • Reader Restaurant Recommendation: One of our readers, Gary, recommends you guys check out Nostos in Vienna. It’s a modern take on Greek culinary culture. If you want us to give you and your favorite NoVA restaurant a shout out in the newsletter, just fill out this form :)

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