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.
5 things you need to know today
- Delegate to introduce legislation to lower Virginia insulin co-pays— Del. Lee Carter (D-Manassas) announced a plan to limit insulin co-payments for Virginia state residents. The price of insulin, the medication diabetics use to control their blood sugar, has almost tripled between 2002 and 2013. Carter told The Virginia-Pilot that the bill would primarily help underinsured Virginia residents who struggle to pay the out-of-pocket expenses. If passed, Virginia would become the second state to pass a law capping insulin co-payments after Colorado enacted a similar policy back in May. -The Virginia Pilot
- Virginia couples file suit challenging marriage license race question— Three Virginia couples have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state requirement that they identify their race when applying for a marriage license. The couples brought the suit against the clerks of the Arlington and Rockbridge circuits, where they could not receive marriage licenses after refusing to state their race. The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit that the requirement uses terms grounded in “ignorance and bigotry.” Virginia is only one of eight states requiring people seeking a marriage license to include their race on the application. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Virginia launching electric school buses— School districts in Northern Virginia, central Virginia, and Hampton roads will soon be able to partner with Dominion Energy to bring electric school buses to their area. The plan is to have 50 electric school buses on the road by the end of 2020. Dominion said it is pursuing the project because it benefits the environment and the bus batteries will serve as a resource for their power grid. -The Washington Post
- Summit addresses spike in black lung cases— Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Stone Mountain Health Services, and Mountain Empire Community College held a summit at Big Stone Gap to discuss the increase of black lung cases in the region. Black lung, an incurable respiratory disease affecting coal miners, is at its highest level in 25 years, with as many as 1-in-5 central Appalachian coal miners suffering from the disease, according to a recent study. Discussions included theories as to the cause of the spike, improving miner’s health care at a federal level, and how best to protect the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. -Bristol Herald Courier
- Some psychiatric patients left without rides home from hospitals— Virginia recently launched a program to cover the cost of transporting people ordered to involuntary psychiatric care to the hospital. But advocates say the program doesn’t help patients get back once treatment is over, sometimes leaving them stranded hundreds of miles from home. While Virginia’s eight state-run behavioral health facilities are required to coordinate transportation home, the same requirements doesn’t exist for private hospitals. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
From the Gram