Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the today’s Virginia news coming right up.
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5 Things you need to know today…
- Supreme Court upholds Virginia’s new district maps ending racial gerrymander – The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the Virginia House of Delegates’ challenge to a lower court’s decision that some of Virginia’s legislative districts were racially gerrymandered to dilute the power of black voters. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court found that House Republicans did not have legal standing to challenge the decision and ruled that the state’s new district maps, which were in use for last week’s primaries, must continue to be used ahead of the 2020 election.
- Virginia AG Mark Herring calls for marijuana decriminalization – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling on the state to decriminalize and eventually legalize marijuana. In an op-ed for the Daily Press, Herring wrote that “Virginia’s policy of criminalizing minor marijuana possession is not working,” is “needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions,” and disproportionately harms African Americans and people of color. If Virginia were to decriminalize marijuana, it would become the 24th state to do so, and it would be the 12th state to legalize marijuana.
- 2020 hopefuls Buttigieg and Klobuchar speak at Virginia Democrats’ fundraiser – The Democratic Party of Virginia held its annual fundraiser on Saturday, raising more than $425,000 from nearly 1,800 attendees. The event was headlined by two presidential candidates, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). During his speech, Buttigieg highlighted the importance of competing everywhere. “As a Democrat from a red state, I believe we need to stand together and demonstrate that there is no place in this country where Democrats can’t win. Not one state and not one commonwealth,” Buttigieg said.
- Support for tighter gun laws grows in Virginia – A new poll conducted in Republican-held Virginia legislative districts found that 62% of voters support a ban on semiautomatic rifles, 63% support a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and 83% (including 73% of Trump voters) also support “red flag” laws that would allow someone to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to guns in specific situations. The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Brady United, a national organization that advocates for stronger gun safety laws.
- Virginia health boards ban conversion therapy for minors – Three Virginia health boards have banned the practice of conversion therapy on minors. The Board of Social work was the most recent body to make such a ruling, saying conversion therapy has “the potential to be a danger to clients, especially minors.” The board voted unanimously Friday to accept the new rule, which received significant public support. The Boards of Psychology and Counseling also enacted similar bans, though all three Boards could face legal challenges to their decisions.