Dogwood Daily: Democrats moving to ease voting restrictions
By Sean Galvin
December 9, 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.

But first…

It’s been a rough couple months: First, there was a french fry shortage. And now there aren’t enough Christmas trees to go around!

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Democrats moving to ease voting restrictions– Democrats have floated several proposals to make voting more accessible and allow more Virginians to participate in the election process. The proposed policies include eliminating photo ID requirements and extending the absentee-voting period. Democratic representatives have also pre-filed legislation to not require any official excuses in order to vote, a policy backed by Gov. Ralph Northam. —Richmond Times-Dispatch
  2. Virginia Beach shooting employees seek mental health care– 450 Virginia Beach city employees have filed worker’s compensation claims in the five months since the mass shooting. The vast majority of the applications are related to mental health, such as PTSD and anxiety stemming from the attack. Sorting through mental health claims has proven to be difficult, but the city has promised survivors and those affected by the shooting that they are committed to supporting their recovery. Last month, the city opened VB Strong, a new counseling office for those impacted that was funded through a federal grant. -The Virginian-Pilot 
  3. Roanoke City Council rejects “Second Amendment Sanctuary” designation– The Roanoke City Council refused to designate Roanoke as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” citing both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions. Mayor Sherman Lea told the gathered crowd that the city has neither the authority or intention of breaking federal and state laws. Republican leaders in 23 other localities have passed resolutions about defying potential gun safety laws that Democrats could pass when they take control of the General Assembly in January. -The Roanoke Times  
  4. American Civil War Museum opens new exhibit– A new exhibit that aims to deconstruct persistent myths about the Confederacy is set to open at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. The curators hope that it will dispel a whitewashed version of the South’s history, which claims the Civil War was fought primarily over states’ rights and not slavery–a position that is widely discredited by modern historians. These misconceptions were primarily shaped by the architects of the Lost Cause movement, which sought to glorify the Confederacy. The museum, which was once the White House of the Confederacy, will open the “House of the Lost Cause” exhibit on December 14th. -Virginia Mercury
  5. New research authority discusses renewable energy ideas– The Southwest Virginia Energy Research Authority met on Friday to discuss how to help foster a renewable energy economy in the region. Among the group’s priorities are a renewable energy generation facilitation and supporting the development of pump storage hydropower. The southwest Virginia delegation created this group, with the support of the governor, to boost the sustainable energy economy as the region’s coal industry has withered. -The Roanoke Times

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