Dogwood Daily: Wexton wants Carson out (and it's unrelated to oreos)
By Keya Vakil
May 24, 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. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

Note: We will be off Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. 

But First…

Hoaxes are almost always a bad thing, but occasionally, there’s one so strange and wonderful that we can’t help but love it anyway. This is that kind of hoax, and it involves bobcats and Richmond. Enjoy!

5 things you need to know today…

  1. Rep. Jennifer Wexton calls for HUD Secretary Ben Carson to resign – Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) called on Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson to resign, saying he lied to Congress about rule changes affecting the transgender community. Her call for resignation follows Carson’s remarkable appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, during which Wexton asked Carson about whether HUD had any plans to eliminate “equal-access rule,” which “ensures equal access to individuals in accordance with their gender identity” in HUD programs. Carson said he didn’t anticipate changing the rule, but HUD proposed a new rule the very next day that would allow federally funded shelters force transgender women to use men’s bathrooms.
  2. Harrisonburg’s restorative justice program offers a different approach to law enforcement – The Harrisonburg Police Department has embraced the practice of restorative justice, a groundbreaking approach to community law enforcement. Instead of looking to jails and courts for justice, in certain cases, the police department will work with the offender, the victim and others in the community to explore the harm caused by a crime, the reasons for the crime and the consequences of it. Police Chief Eric English said that when successful, the program can prevent people from falling into a cycle of crime, prison and recidivism.
  3. Tuition staying flat at every Virginia public college – Virginia has seen a 79% increase in the average cost of public college tuition in the past ten years, but this year, in-state tuition at every state school will remain the same. Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed an incentive package that provides public universities additional funding in exchange for maintaining current tuition rates. Several schools quickly agreed not to raise their tuition rates and by this week, every state school signed on, marking the first time in nearly twenty years that in-state tuition rates won’t increase.
  4. Federal government asks Supreme Court for more time to appeal Atlantic pipeline decision – U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco asked the Supreme Court for a one month extension to appeal a circuit court decision that prevents Dominion Energy from building the Atlantic Coast pipeline across the Appalachian Trail. If the Court decides not to hear the case, some analysts believe Dominion could cancel the pipeline altogether due to surging costs and legal and regulatory delays. If the Court grants an extension, Francisco has until June 25 to file the petition, but if it doesn’t, he has only until May 28.
  5. Senators Kaine and Warner seek more Metro funding — Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats representing Virginia, are pushing new legislation that would provide the Metro with up to $200 million each year in federal funding over the next decade. Metro has received $150 million per year from the federal government over the last ten years, but that measure will expire this year unless Congress passes an extension. Kaine and Warner’s bill would require the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to meet safety requirements and increase the powers of the inspector general, while also prohibiting Metro from using federal money to buy Chinese rail cars.
  • 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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