Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up.
If you’re among the 246,000 Virginia residents who will have your driving privileges restored on July 1 as part of the state’s new budget, the only thing you need to do is make sure your license is still active. If it’s expired, you’ll just need to pay $20 for a replacement.
5 Things you need to know today…
- Mueller Report made public — It’s finally here. The Mueller Report is finally public. Sort of. The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the report this morning, though not before holding a controversial press conference that many viewed as trying to pre-empt the report’s most controversial details. The report does not exonerate the President on obstruction of justice, makes clear Russia wanted to help the Trump campaign, and seems to indicate that Trump was repeatedly saved from more serious legal issues by his own staff, who refused to carry out controversial orders. The report is over 400 pages and we’ll update you here as details continue to come out in real time.
- Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe will focus on Virginia instead of running for President — After months of speculation, the Democrat and former Governor of Virginia decided against joining the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field and will instead focus on flipping control of the General Assembly this November. The news is sure to be well received by Virginia Democrats, some of whom made clear that McAuliffe’s help was needed in the Commonwealth after this year’s scandals. McAuliffe, a skilled fundraiser, will no doubt play a key role in the Democrats’ efforts to hold both the General Assembly and governorship for the first time since 1993.
- Virginians sue online payday loan lenders over exorbitant interest rates — 919%. That’s how much interest a series of payday loan websites disguised as tribal companies charged one Virginia resident. This exorbitant rate, and others like it, are at the center of a new lawsuit in Virginia, where a group of residents are suing online payday loan companies that charged them interest rates ranging from 543% to the aforementioned 919%. The plaintiffs claim that the lenders skirted Virginia law by hiding behind Native tribal governments and have been acting as loan sharks and preying on everyday Virginians.
- Virginia Attorney General supports making D.C. a state — Attorney General Mark Herring joined 19 other state attorneys general this week in issuing a “first-of-a-kind” statement supporting federal legislation to make Washington D.C., the nation’s 51st state. Washington D.C., which has over 700,000 residents and pays the highest federal taxes per capita, has long experienced the issue of taxation without representation.U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton represents D.C.in Congress, but is a non-voting delegate. Holmes has previously introduced bills to make D.C. a state, but this is the first time that state AGs across the country showed support for the idea.
- Virginia Capitol Police fire a Sergeant for white supremacist ties — Sgt. Robert A. Stamm, a Sergeant with the Virginia Capitol Police, was fired on Wednesday for social media posts which referenced white supremacist groups and indicated an “affinity” for white supremacy symbols.