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.
But first …
Sheriffs’ races are typically given very little coverage despite their significant influence in the state. The Dogwood breaks down four races to watch.
Five things you need to know today …
- Psychiatric hospital expansion delayed 9 months — House Appropriations Committee leaders expressed outrage over news that the Western State psychiatric hospital expansion will be delayed by nine months. According to reports, the delay is due to architects using outdated building codes. Virginia is already experiencing an extreme shortage of available services for those with mental health needs.To make matters worse, the delay will cost the state an extra $1 million. – The Washington Post
- Sen. Amanda Chase’s most provocative comments — Locked in a tough reelection bid, state Sen. Amanda Chase has spent much of her 2019 campaign defending incendiary, often right-of-right comments from past and present. The Dogwood’s Davis Burroughs rounds up notable things she’s said on her radio show, including calling homosexulaity “sexual dysphoria.” — The Dogwood
- Legislators consider bills on sick leave — The Virginia Commerce and Labor Subcommittee are reviewing proposals from Democrats that would require Virginia businesses to give employees paid sick and family leave. While no formal votes were taken, legislators said there was traction on one proposal that would require employers to offer employees 24 hours of paid medical and family leave a year. Thirteen states and numerous cities have already passed laws requiring mandatory sick leave. – Virginia Mercury
- Northam announces renewable energy contract — Virginia is set to purchase a significant amount of renewable energy for government buildings under a new contract with Dominion. Governor Northam said it will help ensure Virginia reaches his goal of 30% renewable energy by 2022. Environmental groups praised the move but still had harsh critiques of Dominion’s practices like fracking and the company’s massive carbon footprint. – The Washington Post
- Amazon officials visit Southwestern Virginia — Amazon officials embarked on a visit to southwestern Virginia on Monday, meeting with community leaders and lawmakers. The conversations were intended to highlight southwestern Virginia as a potential investment opportunity for the company in the future. Educational leaders and lawmakers are hoping to foster a connection between the company’s upcoming headquarters in Northern Virginia and southwest Virginia. – The Roanoke Times