Dogwood Daily: Filler-Corn to be Virginia's first female Speaker
By Sean Galvin
November 11, 2019

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…

Happy Veteran’s Day! The Dogwood thanks all of the men and women who have served in our military, and still serve today.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Democrats choose Speaker Filler-Corn as Speaker— The newly elected Democrats for Virginia’s House of Delegates chose Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax County to be their Speaker when the next session begins in January. Filler-Corn will be the Commonwealth’s first female Speaker. Filler-Corn, who is already the House minority leader, was challenged for the position by Del. Lashrecse Aird of Petersburg, but won in the first round of voting. Filler-Corn will take over the spot for current Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox, who retained his seat but whose party lost its majority. -Virginia Mercury
  2. Virginia GOP cancels meeting on gun laws— Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain, the head of the Virginia State Crime Commission, announced that Tuesday’s planned meeting to go over the commission’s finding on state legislation would not be held. Referencing the Democrats’ new majority in the General Assembly, Obenshain said it would be impractical to have the meeting as Democrats will likely pursue their own legislation come January. The General Assembly was also supposed to reconvene on November 18 to discuss and vote on gun-related legislation, but Republican Majority Leader Todd Gilbert said the session would be “pro forma.” –The Washington Post
  3. Skills machines pop up throughout Virginia— So-called “skills machines” are popping up across the Commonwealth, with an estimated 10,000 already in the state. The games look very similar to slot machines, but manufacturers say they are actually games of skill and not chance, a distinction that allows them to skirt the state’s ban on games of chance. The skills machines are are not regulated by the government, and no government entities receive any proceeds from the games. –Bristol Herald-Courier 
  4. Bus strike presses on— One hundred and twenty bus operators, mechanics and utility workers at the Cinder Bed Road Metrobus garage are still striking against the French multinational corporation that handles bus operations at the facility. The workers have been striking since October 24 in an effort to get wages and benefits comparable to the Metrobus employees who are employed directly by the transit agency and who make about $12 more an hour for the same job. More than 8,500 commuters are impacted by the strike. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the agency will not intervene. –The Washington Post
  5. Guy declares victory— Democrat Nancy Guy declared victory in the 83rd District over her incumbent Republican opponent, Del. Chris Stolle. A news release from the House Democratic Caucus said Guy’s lead over Stolle increased from 18 to 26 votes after a precise ballot counting process. Stolle, meanwhile, has not conceded and is considering pushing for a recount. -The Virginian-Pilot 
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