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 …
Del. Rob Bloxom (R-100) missed dozens of General Assembly votes while on vacation in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Instead of attending the 2019 reconvened session, Bloxom took a vacation with his family, missing 69 votes as a result. Bloxom is currently running against first-time candidate Phil Hernandez, a Democrat, to hold onto his district’s seats. With 53% of the district’s voters having voted for Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam and 54% casting ballots for Democrat Tim Kaine, the race is expected to be a squeaker.
Five things you need to know today …
- Attorney General says Norfolk can remove Confederate monument— According to federal court documents, neither Norfolk’s Attorney General or Virginia’s Attorney General will block Norfolk from removing a confederate monument. In 2017, Norfolk City Council voted to move the monument from downtown to a cemetery once it was clear that the move was legal. There was some confusion over a state law that prevents cities from removing memorials for war veterans, but the Attorneys General have cleared the way for monument’s removal. It remains unclear when, exactly, that will happen. – The Virginian-Pilot
- Consultant guilty of stealing funds— Scott Mackenzie, a political consultant in Northern Virginia, plead guilty to stealing money from multiple conservative PACs on which he served as treasurer. Mackenzie admitted in a plea deal to diverting $32,500 to a woman he was in a relationship with by pretending she worked for his PACs. Mackenzie’s activity first came under attack when a Republican gubernatorial candidate said that his campaign only received $10,000 from despite Mackenzie’s PAC using his name to raise over $2 million in funds. –WTOP
- Virginia’s spending on education increases — Virginia is expected to pay an additional $596 million on education over the next two years. That number isn’t final, however, there may be updates based on enrollment numbers, retirement funds, and how much money has been brought in from sales taxes and the lottery. This total also doesn’t include the additional $1 billion the Board of Educations said it would take to meet updated quality standards. – The Virginian-Pilot
- Northam launches economic development initiative — Gov. Northam on Tuesday launched Opportunity Virginia, an initiative focused on bringing economic development to struggling communities. Northam was joined in Charlottesville for the program launch by business people, investors, and government officials. “I want to do everything I can to make sure Virginia stays the most business-friendly state,” Northam said to the crowd. The program will offer tax cuts for businesses that develop projects in designated zones with disadvantaged communities. – The Daily Progress
- Association publishes findings on campus attitudes towards sexual assault — A 2019 study by the Association of American Universities has published findings on attitudes toward sexual assault and misconduct. The organization surveyed 33 colleges, including the University of Virginia. They reported that 72% of students believe reports of sexual misconduct would be taken seriously in 2019, a sharp increase from only 59% in 2015. Abby Palio, the Director of the Women’s Center at UVA, credited the #MeToo movement as a contributing factor in the report’s findings. – The Cavalier Daily