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.
If you want to make your opinion on Virginia’s lax gun laws known, Tuesday afternoon will be your chance. Virginia’s Crime Commission is holding day-long hearings in Richmond on Monday and Tuesday, during which they will hear from law enforcement officials, academics, lawmakers and the general public. Full details of the hearings can be found over at the Virginian-Pilot.
5 Things you need to know today
- Virginia’s top financial officer is bracing for a recession – Virginia’s secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne is preparing for an economic downturn, saying he believes a recession in the next 12 to 18 months is “more likely than not.” Layne’s statements come after the Dow plunged more than 800 points last Wednesday and the bond market also appeared to foreshadow a recession. – The Virginia Mercury
- Arlington to launch program addressing mental illness in criminal justice system, but advocates have concerns – Arlington is moving towards launching a specialized court program to divert some mentally ill offenders out of the regular court system. Two-thirds of the people in the Arlington County jail at any given time have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness or developmental disability, according to county data, and the plan comes after 15 years of failed reform efforts. But the program has also been met with concern from some advocates who say the county’s plan is moving too quickly, would help too few people, and was cobbled together without the input of the community. – The Washington Post
- Roanoke Gas Co. embroiled in fight with state regulators over rate increase – The Roanoke Gas Company continues to clash with the State Corporation Commission over a proposed rate increase that would boost the company’s annual operating revenue by $10.5 million. The boost would come at the expense of Roanoke’s residential customers who would see an average rate increase of $5.61 per month, 11% more than current rates. The SCC has questioned the rate of growth claimed by the company and is recommending a $6.5 million increase, but a final decision will not be made until late this year or early 2020. – The Roanoke Times
- Rep. Luria and climate task force release policy principles to tackle climate change – Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va) and the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force that she co-chairs released a set of policy principles to tackle climate change. The principles embrace the idea that America’s strong economy allow it to lead the world in tackling climate change and Luria said the plan would work to protect Virginians from sea-level rise and flooding. – 13 News Now
- James City County faces impending water crisis – Facing new restrictions from the state Department of Environmental Quality, James City County is preparing for impending water shortfalls. After a 2009 model found the state was using too much groundwater, the DEQ took steps to reduce groundwater use, slashing groundwater withdrawal permits. In James City County, the state cut the water authority’s permit from 8.83 million gallons per day to 6 million per day. Now, the state plans to cut it to 3.8 to 4 million gallons, a target the James City Service Authority’s chief water engineer said would be “unsustainable” and impossible for the county to meet. – The Virginia Mercury
From the Gram