Dogwood Daily: News to Go – March 26, 2019
By Keya Vakil
March 26, 2019

Good morning Virginia! Here’s today’s most important news:

  1. Vice President Mike Pence coming to Virginia to raise money for Republicans – It wasn’t enough for the Virginia Republicans to block bills guaranteeing LGBT protections against discrimination, now they’re doubling down by welcoming Pence to the state. A noted opponent of LGBTQ rights (and reproductive rights, and not having dinner with women who aren’t his wife, among other things), Pence will appear at a high-dollar fundraiser in McLean on Wednesday, to raise money for Virginia Republicans. Republicans have a two-seat margin in each the state House and Senate and the party is banking on Pence to help them maintain control. Virginia has had a tough couple of months, and embracing a divisive figure like Pence isn’t making it better.
  2. Northam pushes back against Dominion– It’s a day of the week, so Dominion Energy is in the news again. After initially committing to spend $870 million on energy efficiency programs last year, Dominion seemed to change gears in recent weeks. The company wants that figure to include any lost revenue related to decreased electric spending, which would drastically reduce how much the company spends on the actual programs. This despite the company having $100 billion in assets. But now, Governor Ralph Northam is pushing back and asking the company to stand by its commitment. It remains to be seen if they’ll bend to his pressure.
  3. Northam’s Vetoes – Northam’s busy month of March continues, as he vetoed a package of Republican healthcare bills that he claimed would undermine Affordable Care Act protections and lead to Virginians being under-insured. He also vetoed a bill that would have made it impossible for convicted felons of becoming notaries, even upon having their civil rights restored after being released from prison. He argued the legislation was “antithetical to the concept of restorative justice.” 
  4. Roanoke Landlords Crack Down on Dog Droppings – Yes, you read that correctly. In what’s maybe our favorite story ever, the owners and managers of 16 of downtown Roanoke’s biggest residential properties have banded together against dog owners. Why? Uncollected dog poop. It’s become such a problem in the area that starting on June 1, dog-owning tenants will now be forced to provide their pets’ DNA to a database that will be used to identify dogs whose owners don’t clean up after them. This is real, and it’s incredible.
  5. I-81 Shenanigans – If you live in Shenandoah County and plan on driving on I-81 North on Wednesday, plan on delays. Crews will be working on emergency pavement repairs to the right lane from the Edinburg to Woodstock areas from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ve been warned!


Until tomorrow!

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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