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.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of what is believed to be the largest anti-war protest in U.S. History. Over 2 million protesters around the country marched against the Vietnam War on November 15, 1969.
Five things you need to know today …
- Filler-Corn makes committee picks– Speaker-elect Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) announced her picks for four important legislative committees on Thursday. The choices made reflect the state’s full diversity; three of the committee chairs are African American, and two are from outside Northern Virginia. It has been two decades since a black delegate has lead a House committee: The last time was in 1998, when Del. William P. Robinson Jr. (D-Norfolk) chaired the Transportation Committee. “Each of these delegates brings a great deal of experience, both in and out of the legislature,” Fuller-Corn said in a written statement. -The Washington Post
- Test scores to play smaller role in teacher evaluations– Under a new evaluation system, Virginia teachers will be judged less heavily on how well students do on standardized tests. The new policy, which was passed unanimously by the state Board of Education, will weigh factors like classroom environment and planning more heavily in teacher evaluations. Test scores have counted for 40% of teachers’ assessments since 2012, a move that the state schools chief now calls an “overemphasis” on only one aspect of educators’ responsibilities. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Two Republican candidates join race for U.S. Senate– Two candidates have joined former U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor in the GOP primary field for next year’s Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner. Omari Faulkner, 37, a Navy reservist, and Daniel Gade, 44, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, both announced their candidacies. Taylor had previously represented Virginia’s second district for one term before being ousted last year by Rep. Elaine Luria in 2018. Sen. Warner has been in office since 2009. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Express lanes set to open— A new section of Virginia’s interstate express lane system will open this weekend. Work crews will be converting HOV lanes into electronically-monitored toll lanes. The change is designed to help ease the traffic congestion experienced by weekday commuters. A representative for Transurban estimates that a trip will range between a few dollars to $20 during peak hours. -The Free Lance-Star
- Protecting Virginia’s coasts– When you consider the Virginia peninsula, the Commonwealth has one of the longest coasts of any state in America. It takes a lot of work to protect that coast, as Laura McKay, manager of the state-run Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program, explained in an interview. CZM has made restoring and protecting coastal habitats a top priority in an effort to protect Virginians from the threat of severe storms, erosion, and sea-level rise. -Pew