Dogwood Daily: News-to-Go
By Keya Vakil
May 3, 2019

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.

But First…

If you’re one of the thousands of Virginians who commutes via Amtrak, we’ve got some good news for you: The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is teaming up with Amtrak to roll out the Virginia Anytime Fare, which will allow Virginians to receive 15% off travel within Virginia and Washington D.C.

This ought to make the commute a little more bearable. Now if they could just improve the WiFi…

5 Things you need to know today…

  1. Trump’s controversial pick for the Fed withdraws from consideration —Stephen Moore, Donald Trump’s second controversial pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board (shout out to everyone’s fourth favorite pizza mogul, Herman Cain) withdrew from consideration yesterday after significant backlash and political pressure. Virginia’s own Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) was an outspoken critic of Moore’s and helped draw some attention to some of Moore’s outlandish economic views via her delightful performance during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
  2. Northam doesn’t veto language blocking Virginia from joining groundbreaking climate program — On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced he would not veto a Republican budget measure that blocks Virginia from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). His decision comes despite a push from environmental groups who advocated for the multi-state compact aimed at curbing greenhouse gases. Had Northam exercised his veto power, it likely would have led to a legal fight, but environmental groups expressed dismay at Northam’s choice.
  3. Virginia Republicans cannibalize over vote to expand Medicaid — For Republican members of the General Assembly, a vote to expand healthcare to more Virginians could end up getting them primaried. There are several Virginia Republicans facing backlash over their Medicaid votes. Del. Chris Peace (R-Hanover) is facing a bitter challenge from a far-right Republican, as are Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Shenandoah) and Del. Bob Thomas (R-Fredericksburg).
  4. Richmond Police data indicates city’s racial disparities in policing — While only 49% of Richmond’s population is black, 65% of the nearly 30,000 field reports by Richmond police officers in 2017 and 2018 documentedinteractions with black people. The city’s police chief explains the disparity by saying officers make more stops in high-crime areas in Richmond, which tend to be poorer and predominantly black. This explanation doesn’t cut it for activists, though, and they’re calling for change.
  5. Virginia Supreme Court rules that Norfolk prosecutor can’t dismiss marijuana cases — The State Supreme Court ruled against Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood on Thursday, declaring that he could not dismiss all misdemeanor marijuana cases in the city. In announcing his plan, Underwood said that prosecuting marijuana arrests disproportionately hurts black people, but his effort was opposed by numerous Norfolk judges who said Underwood was encroaching on the state legislature’s territory: lawmaking.
  • 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.

Related Stories
Share This