Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news 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.
*Programming note: We’ll be taking a break from the Dogwood Daily on Thursday and Friday due to the Fourth of July holiday, but we will resume on Monday, July 8.
It’s Monday, which means we’ve got a new edition of our Dogwood Dog of the Week series. Without further ado, please meet the adorable, happy-go-lucky pup known as Dumpling.
5 Things you need to know today
- Several new laws go into effect today – Many of the most impactful laws passed by the General Assembly this year go into effect today. As a result, thousands of Virginians will be able to get their driver’s licenses back, tenants will receive some eviction relief, and bars can now promote happy hour specials.
- Lawmakers, activists and advocates attend Women’s summit – More than 1,000 activists, state and local candidates, and advocates attended the third annual Women’s Summit for Political Engagement in Tysons this weekend, where they strategized ahead of this year’s November elections. The event, hosted by liberal grassroots group Network NoVA, featured state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who spoke about the surge in female candidates and encouraged attendees to dig deep this year to help Democrats gain control of the General Assembly.
- Racial disparities persist in Fairfax County Public Schools – Black and Hispanic students in Fairfax County Public Schools still trail behind their white and Asian classmates on state math and reading tests, according to a report by the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee. The report also found disparities in hiring, student discipline and access to advanced courses within the school system. Scott Brabrand, the system’s Superintendent, acknowledged the issues to the Washington Post, but said that he was “convinced Fairfax County Public Schools can dramatically close that gap in the next few years.”
- 97th House District finally (probably) gets its Republican nominee – State election officials have declared Hanover County Supervisor Scott Wyatt as the Republican nominee for Virginia’s 97th House District. The decision is a huge blow for incumbent Del. Chris Peace (R-Hanover), who has clashed with Wyatt in a months-long battle over the Republican nomination. While things don’t look good for Peace, he has refused to concede and says he’s considering his options.
- Another solar battle begins in Culpeper County – Cricket Solar, LLC wants to place more than 270,000 solar panels in the Raccoon Ford area of Culpeper County, which would generate enough electricity to power 15,000 homes a year. Some locals say the project would keep struggling farmers in business. Others, including the owners of three antebellum mansions steeped in Confederate history, say the green energy project would alter the countryside and therefore belongs elsewhere. The county’s planning department is reviewing revisions to the company’s application and will hold a public hearing on the proposal in August.
From the Gram