Dogwood Daily: Republicans battle each other over guns in government buildings
By Keya Vakil
July 9, 2019

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. We’ve also got live coverage on the start of the General Assembly’s special session, so head over to our Instagram to check out the latest on the contentious battle over the state’s gun laws.

But First…

If you were in or around Washington D.C. on Monday morning, chances are you encountered the absolutely outrageous rainstorm that swept across the region. If you weren’t in the area, consider yourself lucky. A month’s worth of rain slammed the region, causing severe flooding and an assortment of remarkable images.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. Republican leadership clashes ahead of special session – Less than 24 hours before today’s special session on Virginia’s gun laws, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) introduced a bill that would ban guns from local government buildings. His bill caused outrage among his colleagues and prompted State Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County) to resign his position as Senate majority whip in protest. Stanley’s colleagues rejected his resignation and Norment quickly caved, asking for his own bill to be stricken because “as currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention.”
  2. Trump administration and Republican lawmakers trying to strike down Affordable Care Act (again) – A federal appeals court panel will hear arguments on Tuesday on whether a federal judge in Texas was correct to strike down the ACA. The case was brought by a group of Republican governors and attorneys general against the federal government, but now has Trump’s support. Should they succeed, 21 million Americans could lose health insurance and the more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions could lose their insurance protections.
  3. Virginians struggle to afford high healthcare costs – Fifty five percent of Virginia adults have struggled to afford healthcare costs over the last year, and 78% are worried about affording healthcare in the future, according to a new survey from the Virginia Center for Health Innovation and the Altarum Healthcare Value Hub. The survey of 1,100 adults also found that healthcare is by far the most important issue for Virginians, with 63% of respondents saying the government should address healthcare in the upcoming year.
  4. Rep. Bobby Scott’s minimum wage bill likely to pass House, but not Senate -Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) expects the U.S. House of Representatives to pass his $15 minimum wage bill, only to see it die in the Republican-controlled Senate. Regardless, as the Virginia Mercury reports, he is content to campaign on the issue in 2020. This puts him in company with Virginia’s state-level Democrats, who were blocked by Republicans from raising Virginia’s minimum wage, currently at $7.25 per hour.
  5. Former congressman Scott Taylor to run against Sen. Mark Warner – Former Republican congressman Scott Taylor announced on Monday that he will run against Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in 2020. Taylor, a staunch ally of President Trump, lost his seat in 2018 to current Rep. Elaine Luria. Taylor acknowledged he’s an underdog against Warner, who will be seeking a third term in the Senate. 

From the Gram
  • 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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