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5 Things you need to know today
- Mass shootings reignite gun debate in Virginia – Democrats and gun safety activists are once again calling for reform of Virginia’s gun laws after a pair of mass shootings over the weekend left more than 30 people dead. Virginia Republicans have blocked almost every gun safety bill over the past two decades and refused to consider any reforms after the Virginia Beach mass shooting in May, adjourning a July special session on gun laws in just 90 minutes. Republicans condemned the gunmen who perpetrated this weekend’s shootings but have remained silent on strengthening the state’s gun safety laws. – The Dogwood
- Hundreds of protesters demand action outside NRA Headquarters – Hundreds of protesters gathered Monday night in front of the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax County to demand stronger gun laws. The Northern Virginia chapters of Brady and March for Our Lives organized the “Vigil for Remembrance and Change” in response to this weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Protesters honored the victims before criticizing the NRA and Republicans in the Senate who’ve failed to consider gun reform legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House. – The Washington Post
- Regulators approve most of Dominion’s recovery request – Dominion Energy customers will see their electric bills increase by an estimated $2 per month after the State Corporation Commission approved the company’s request to recover most of the money it spent on environmental upgrades at several power plants. Dominion sought to recover $302 million in compliance costs, but the SCC rejected an $18 million portion of the investment. Still, the commission’s decision will allow Dominion to add a “rider,” or extra charge, to customers’ bills to recover money spent at its Chesterfield, Mt. Storm and Clover power plants. – The Virginia Mercury
- UVA will provide financial aid to students with DACA status – Beginning this fall, in-state undergraduate students with DACA status will be eligible for financial aid at the University of Virginia. In-state DACA recipients have been eligible to attend UVA since 2014, but they’ve been required to pay the full cost of tuition themselves. That will change thanks to private funding that will cover the extended financial aid program. – The Daily Progress
- Rep. Bobby Scott fighting to tackle drug costs – Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) told staffers and patients at the Hampton Roads Community Health Center’s Portsmouth clinic that he and fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives are working to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Scott said Congress is considering measures to induce more transparency about pricing, new requirements for drug companies to justify big price increases to regulators, and proposals to encourage competition by generic drugs. – The Daily Press