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.
We hope you had a great long weekend! Just a reminder that individual tax season starts in Virginia next week!
Five things you need to know today …
- Anti-gun safety protest in Richmond- Thousands of protesters gathered in Richmond Monday to oppose new gun safety legislation proposed by Democrats. The event was crowded but largely peaceful after threats of violence led Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a temporary state of emergency, banning guns from the state Capitol grounds. Despite the ban on guns, many protesters showed up with high-powered assault rifles and lined the streets around the Capitol building. Our team has more coverage and photos from the rally. -The Dogwood
- Thousands turn up to rally- Public safety officials estimate that approximately 16,000 people showed up for the rally against gun safety legislation yesterday. About 6,000 of those continued through 17 metal detectors to Capitol Square, where Gov. Ralph Northam had temporarily banned weapons. Numerous out-of-state militia and extremist groups that had threatened violence were in attendance, but the march was largely peaceful. After the rally, Northam publicly thanked public security officers for helping keep the peace and said he was glad that there was no violence. –The Washington Post
- Battle over court records– Both Democratic and Republican candidates have filed legislation challenging the Virginia Supreme Court’s declaration that the Office of the Executive Secretary is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. The Office of the Executive Secretary says judges are concerned that notes and drafts they write while a case is pending could become public, but legislators insist that will always remain private. The Virginia Constitution explicitly says the General Assembly has the authority to enact laws over the administration of the state’s courts. “The courts are subject to the law, just like the executive branch and the legislative branch are,” said Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, who is sponsoring some of the bills. -The Virginian-Pilot
- Filler-Corn says everything on track in House– In an interview Friday, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) addressed concerns from Republicans that the new Democratic majority wouldn’t be able to meet crucial deadlines. Important deadlines include adopting a two-year budget by March 7th and acting on the over 1,700 bills that have been filed. House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) recently gave a 10-minute speech on the House floor questioning Democrats’ progress. Filler-Corn rebuffed his concern, saying, “We are governing, and we will continue to do successfully.” –Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Cole introduces bill addressing Fredericksburg transportation– Del. Joshua Cole (D-28th) has introduced two bills aimed at addressing issues facing transportation in the Fredericksburg area. One of the bills seeks to create a transportation authority for the region, which would have the power to develop new taxes to fund transportation improvements. The other bill would implement changes the state’s Smart Scale Program, which scores and ranks projects for funding. –The Free-Lance Star