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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…

Curious where General Assembly members received their donations from? VPAP has laid it all out for you.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Elections have consequences, reproductive rights edition Democrats in the House Courts of Justice Committee advanced a bill to repeal a number of state regulations on abortion. The restrictions were put in place by previous Republican majorities. House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) introduced the bill, which would eliminate a 24-hour waiting period, mandatory ultrasounds, and requiring certain information before receiving an abortion. Currently, nearly 93% of Virginia counties currently don’t have clinics that offer abortions, compared to 89% nationally. -Richmond Times-Dispatch 
  2. Delegate suggests Northern Virginian counties join D.C.– Well, that might be one way for Republicans to win back the General Assembly. Del. Dave LaRock apparently told a Winchester Star reporter last week he would be open to supporting a move to “have more liberal jurisdictions such as Arlington and Alexandria become part of Washington, D.C.” Suburban areas of Northern Virginia have definitely become more densely populated in recent years, with a more diverse, immigrant-rich population than much of the rest of the state. Those same areas helped Democrats win control of the General Assembly. -WAMU 
  3. Elections have consequences, LGBTQ edition The Virginia Senate passed a number of LBGTQ rights bills, including a ban conversion therapy on children, a repeal the state’s effectively defunct same-sex marriage ban, and voting to implement several policies protecting transgender people’s rights. The bills largely passed along party lines, with a few Republicans crossing the aisle to support the measures. The bills will now head to the House, where they are expected to pass. -The Washington Post     
  4. Bill to limit what can be called “milk” Anyone care for a nice cold cup of oat beverage? How about some coffee with a splash of soy liquid? As non-dairy alternatives to milk continue to rise in popularity, dairy farmers are struggling. Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) introduced a bill to define milk as the “lacteal secretion of a healthy hooved mammal” with an exception for “human breast milk.” Michael Robbins, the spokesperson for the Plant Based Foods Association, said the labeling laws are unnecessary as customers know what they’re purchasing. Robbins also said the plant-based food industry would file a lawsuit if the law is passed. -Fauquier Now
  5. Schools out for..sickness? Normally school cancellations are cause for celebration, but that isn’t the case in Bristol, Va.. Director of Bristol Virginia Public Schools Keith Perrigan announced Thursday that the entire school system would be closing down Friday after a series of widespread illnesses for “deep cleaning.” –WJHL