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.
As the LGBTQ community gains hard-fought rights, it can be easy to forget that bigotry and homophobia is still a problem. Here in Virginia, some parents are pushing back as more schools expand their libraries to be more LGBTQ-inclusive.
Five things you need to know today …
- Record number of women elected to General Assembly— Come January, a record 41 of the 140 representatives in the General Assembly will be women. Women picked up a total of six seats in last Tuesday’s election— four by Democratic candidates and two by Republicans. According to Dr. Keneisha Grant, an associate professor of political science at Howard University, even if they don’t win, women make it easier for other women just by running. Referencing Sheila Bynum-Coleman’s unsuccessful campaign against Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), she said: “The woman who comes after her can learn from the things that happened and use those things to change the way that they approach their campaign.” -VPM
- Congressional Committee to consider ERA deadline—The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is set to consider legislation on Wednesday to consider removing the 1982 deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. If they succeed, they will have cleared what many supporters see as one of the final hurdles to clear the path for the ratification of the ERA. Democrats are expected to ratify the Amendment when they take over the General Assembly in January, making Virginia the 38th and final state required to officially make the amendment part of the U.S. constitution. –VPM
- Meet Dr. Ghazala Hashmi— Ghazala Hashmi is set become Virginia’s first Muslim State Senator. The Dogwood has compiled a list featuring some of the most interesting things about Hashmi, including her background working as an educator and how President Trump’s actions inspired her to run for office. –The Dogwood
- Judge sides with Dominion— A federal judge ruled that Dominion Energy can continue with its construction of 17 transmission towers across the James River while an environmental impact statement is progress. The Army Corps is conducting its court-ordered environmental impact statement, which is more detailed than an assessment they already completed. Conservation groups said the line’s construction threatened the river’s fragile ecosystem and the ruling sets a dangerous legal precedent. –Daily Press
- Bon Secours Mercy Health expands — Bon Secours Mercy Health Health Hospital announced plans to buy three more hospitals in southeastern Virginia by the end of 2019, expanding its reach in the region by 500 hospital beds. Bon Secours Mercy Health announced that it would be purchasing Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin and Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia, all of which are affiliated with the struggling Community Health Systems, Inc. Last year, Bon Secours merged with Mercy Health, a deal shuttered some health services in the state and eliminated positions in Hampton Roads. -The Virginian-Pilot