Dogwood Weekly Wrap-Up – April 7, 2019

By Keya Vakil

April 7, 2019

Happy Sunday, Virginia.

It was another busy news week in the Commonwealth, so we’ve got everything you need to know in our weekly wrap-up.

  1. Virginia Cavaliers one win away from history – A year ago, the Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball team made the wrong kind of history, becoming the first 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed in the first round of March Madness. Now, after an improbable – and controversial – last-second victory over Auburn on Saturday night, Virginia is just one win shy of becoming national champions. The Cavaliers will seek to finish off their march to redemption on Monday evening when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the championship game. To root for the Hoos, catch the game at 9:20 PM on CBS.
  2. A very busy veto session – The General Assembly returned to the Capitol on Wednesday for a reconvened session to vote on Gov. Ralph Northam’s amendments and vetoes. Among the bills passed were a bill to end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses because of unpaid court fines and fees and another to fund improvements to I-81. A full list of all bills passed or vetoed can be found here.
  3. Democrat-controlled House passes Violence Against Women Act — Twenty-five years after the Violence Against Women Act was first passed to fund programs that support victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and stalking, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass a revised version of the legislation. The new bill closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which bars gun sales to convicted abusers of current or former dating partners and anyone found guilty of a stalking misdemeanor or under a one-party restraining order. Fueled by NRA backlash against the gun control measure in the bill, 157 Republicans voted against the bill, including Virginia’s entire Republican Delegation.
  4. Anti-choice demonstrators rally in Richmond – While the General Assembly met, an estimated 6,500 demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol to protest late-term abortions. It was the largest anti-abortion demonstration at the state capitol in years, but 60% of Virginian voters believe abortion in the third trimester should be legal if the woman’s health is at risk.
  5. Trump continues war on immigrants – In yet another sign of the Trump administration’s antipathy for immigrants, the Department of Justice has asked for up to two years to reunite thousands of children who were separated from their families during the administration’s controversial family separation practice. Meanwhile, thousands of families, including some in Virginia, remain separated from their loved ones because of President Trump’s travel ban. According to new data from the State Department, only 6% of 38,000 visa applicants from the targeted countries received a visa waiver. Husbands remain separated from wives and parents from children, with no clear timetable for when they might see their families again.
  • 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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