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.
Good news for fans of The Mariner Museum in Newport News. Thanks to a $10 million endowment from the Batten Foundation, admission will continue to cost just $1 per visit.
Five things you need to know today …
- Northam pauses “work requirement” for Medicaid– Gov. Ralph Northam said his administration was putting a “pause” on its negotiations with the federal government on rules that would require Medicaid recipients prove they are trying to get a job to maintain their health insurance. Some Republicans are accusing the governor of acting in bad faith, as the so-called “work requirement” was a key reason they supported expanded Medicaid access. Northam defended his decision, citing the shift to a Democratic majority in the General Assembly and the difficulty similar legislation has faced in other states. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Fairfax Connector drivers strike– Workers for North Virginia’s transit system went on strike beginning at 3 AM this morning, affecting the commutes of thousands of commuters. Employees are seeking raises and improved benefits, and are joining a group of Metrobus workers who have been on strike since October. The union had been in talks with Transdev, the private contractor who runs the service for the region, but the negotiations reached an impasse Wednesday. –The Washington Post
- Environmental groups vs. Mountain Valley Pipeline– Environmental groups are asking the court to reject an agreement between Virginia and the Mountain Valley Pipeline that would require the company to pay the state for some previous violations. Activists say it doesn’t go far enough, in part because the company would pay a one time $2.5 million fine instead of being charged per infraction, which would add up to a higher total. –WVTF
- New regulations on restraint in public schools move forward– A proposed set of rules that would limit the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools will be sent to the governor. The law would ban some types of physical restraint, and require training by school staff members. The proposition was recently approved by a number of state agencies. Del. Dickie Bell (R-20) first introduced the bill four years ago and instructed the Department of Education to draft the standards. -WVTF
- Virginia’s all-time rain record— Sperryville in Rappahannock County set the all-time Virginia record for the most annual precipitation by totaling 94.43 inches throughout 2018. All of Virginia experienced an abnormally wet 2018 with rainfall from tropical storms, according to a report released by the State Climate Extremes Committee. And NOAA reported that 2018 was the wettest year on record for the entire state. –Danville Register & Bee