Dogwood Daily: Northam issues Executive Orders expanding opportunities for Virginians with disabilities

By Sean Galvin

January 3, 2020

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…

“I’ll take ‘Smarty-Pants Virginians’ for $1000, Alex.” Woodbridge political consultant Karen Farrell will attempt her seventh victory Friday on Jeopardy.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Northam issues executive actions expanding opportunities for Virginians with disabilities–  Gov. Ralph Northam issued two Executive Orders yesterday, both aimed at ensuring inclusion and opportunity for disabled Virginians. The executive orders expand support in higher education and access to state services. They also ensure employment equity for Virginians by prioritizing hiring and workforce diversity in the state government. Northam said people with disabilities have “an absolute right to same benefits of society and freedoms” as everybody else. -Royal Examiner
  2. Calls for increased General Assembly transparency– Transparency Virginia wrote a letter to legislative leaders asking lawmakers to improve the public’s access to the General Assembly. Among the steps they encouraged were having video streaming of subcommittee hearings and quickly posting substitute bills online. Virginia has often lagged behind other states in transparency measures and only started requiring the recording of votes while in committee back in 2015. -Richmond Times-Dispatch 
  3. Death threats over proposed legislation– Del. Lee Carter (D-50th) reported receiving death threats in response to legislation he proposed that would allow public sector employees except for public safety officers to go on strike without risk of being fired. Carter says social media spin has depicted him as targeting law enforcement in the lead up to the General Assembly’s expected passage of gun control legislation. Carter noted that several of the death threats were serious enough and that he reported them to law enforcement.
  4. Monacans call for investigation–The Monacan Indian Nation has asked the Fluvanna and Louisa Boards of Supervisors to investigate claims that the archaeological survey at Point of Fork has been mismanaged. Point of Fork is the location of a multi-million dollar project to carry water into Zion Crossroad and other parts of Louisa; it is also the location of what is believed to be the main settlement of the Monacan tribe at the time the English arrived. The Monacan tribe says that the project will potentially disrupt tribal artifacts and their ancestors’ remains. -Fluvanna Review 
  5. Two Northern Virginia counties won’t prosecute marijuana possession– New prosecutors in Fairfax and Arlington said Thursday that the counties will no longer prosecute adults possessing small amounts of marijuana. Both Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descanso and Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paris’s Dehghani-Tafti won elections in November vowing to implement sweeping criminal justice reform. Both said prosecuting marijuana possession does little to protect public safety and disproportionately affects people of color. -The Washington Post 

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