Dogwood Daily: About those 900% interest rates…

By Matt Blair

January 24, 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…

Conservative talk-radio played an instrumental role in President Donald Trump’s election. The Washington Post has a profile of Virginia radio host John Fredericks, who has become one of the more prominent voices of the Trump movement on the airwaves.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. The days of 900% interest rates may be numbered in Virginia. Virginia may finally be implementing regulations against payday loan companies. Virginia’s consumer protections are particularly weak, with interest rates that can exceed 900%. New legislation that would drastically cut charges on payday, car title, and other short-term loans passed the House Labor and Commerce Committee. A similar bill, sponsored by state Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), is expected to come before the equivalent Senate committee later this month. It’s a big step forward, as the Republican-led General Assembly has rejected efforts to rein in the industry for more than a decade. -Daily Press 
  2. Today in “How wasn’t this already a thing already?” news. The Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would require public schools to offer free menstrual products in their bathrooms. Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) introduced the legislation to make it easier for students to access menstrual products. “This is a necessity, and girls can’t carry out their school day without it,” Boysko said. While school budgets already cover menstrual expenses, they are often kept in the nurse’s offices, making it inconvenient for many students. -WSET 
  3. Slots, anyone? Pretty soon you might be able to play a few rounds of slots while enjoying your spaghetti carbonara. Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-William) introduced a new proposal on Thursday that would legalize video gaming terminals in certain restaurants, truck stops, and convenience stores. Under the proposal, the Virginia Lottery would oversee the machines and tax them at a rate of 36%. -Richmond Times-Pilot   
  4. No more strip searches of minors. It’s always good when common sense prevails. The Department of Corrections announced it will permanently stop the practice of strip-searching children visiting inmates. The department had already temporarily suspended the practice after a report of a strip search performed on an 8-year-old girl gained national attention. Several legislators recently filed legislation to ban the practice. -The Virginian-Pilot 
  5. Duke agrees to pay man $5,000. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke agreed to pay $5,000 to a man who was severely injured at the 2017 Charlottesville protests. Duke attended the rally where Bill Burke was hit by the car driven by James Alex Fields Jr., which also killed counter-protester Heather Heyer. Burke’s lawyer said the judgment was “a step in the right direction for those who refuse to be silenced or intimidated by white supremacy.” -WTOP

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