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.
Keep an eye on West Virginia, they’re trying to steal our counties! Fortunately, it appears Frederick County has no interest in leaving the Commonwealth despite a 158 year-old standing invitation.
Five things you need to know today …
- Senate Judiciary Committee advances four gun safety bills— On Monday, Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee approved multiple new gun safety measures supported by Gov. Ralph Northam. They include a one-handgun-per-month limit, universal background checks, a “red flag” law, and legislation to grant local officials more authority on guns. The measures all passed with a 9-5 party vote with Democrats voting for and Republicans voting against. The bills will now head to the full Senate. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Virginia General Fund revenues up 7.6% last month— Gov. Northam announced Monday that Virginia’s General Fund revenues rose by 7.6% in December. Northam credited the increase to strong growth in payroll withholding, sales and use taxes, and recordation tax collections. Northam said the revenue collected helped assure him that the state would be able to achieve his “forward-looking agenda” while continuing to put money in the state’s cash reserves. -Virginia Business
- Pamunkey Tribe signs deal to bring casino to Norfolk— The Pamunkey Indian Tribe signed a $10 million agreement with a Norfolk on Monday to purchase 13.4 acres of city property for the development of a resort casino. The proposed casino and resort is anticipated to bring thousands of construction and resort jobs, as well as have a positive economic impact on the city overall. Although casino gambling is still illegal in Virginia, this is the third agreement for a proposed casino in the state. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Transportation Commission pushes back against Metro changes—Virginia is resisting proposed Metro fare increases for long-distance commuters. The proposed budget would raise rates 10 cents and increase the price cap on the longest trips from $6 to $7. A draft letter set to be approved by the North Virginia Transportation Commission urges a slower approach to service improvements to avoid unfairly burdening long-distance Metrobus riders. -WTOP
- Newly-formed Commonwealth Caucus aims to facilitate bipartisanship— Freshman Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87th) and veteran state Sen. Emmet Hanger (R-24th) have created the new Commonwealth Caucus aimed at increasing bipartisanship in the General Assembly. Caucus leadership said structural electoral reform will be one of the caucuses’ main priorities. They also said the caucus will aim to find consensus on issues and provide resources for legislators looking for bill co-patrons across the two chambers.— Loudon Times-Mirror