Dogwood Daily: Casinos, casinos, casinos

By Matt Blair

January 27, 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…

Mondays, am I right? Well, here’s an uplifting story about therapy dogs at the Hampton VA Medical Cente to get you through the day.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Casinos, casinos, casinos— Pretty soon casinos might be all over the state. The Virginia General Assembly will debate 20 casino bills this session, and five cities could potentially receive approval for proposed casinos. A Virginia Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission (JLARC) study estimated that the casinos proposed would generate nearly $1 billion in combined annual net gaming revenue for operators and more than $260 million annually in state gaming tax. Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Richmond all have proposed casinos. The Bristol Herald Courier breaks down the various proposals and their potential impact on the state. -Bristol Herald Courier 
  2. Second Amendment sanctuary designation “worthless”– In news that will shock absolutely nobody, new emails show local officials privately questioned the validity of “gun sanctuary’ resolutions that were adopted across Virginia. Everytown for Gun Safety obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request. In the emails, lawyers and town officials raised concerns about the resolution’s legal weight and potentially sowing confusion among residents. In one email, Tazewell County administrator Eric Young went so far as to describe the resolutions “unconstitutional and worthless” before the Board of Supervisors passed them. -The Washington Post
  3. The start of a new ERA— Women will preside over both chambers today when the Virginia legislature officially ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) is Speaker of the House and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Friday that he plans to let Sen. Louise Lucas, (D-Portsmouth) preside over the Senate for the vote. Both chambers have already approved its own resolution to ratify the other’s version. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
  4. Coronavirus update— Fortunately, Virginia still appears to be coronavirus free. The Virginia Department of Health reported that two patients have tested negative for the coronavirus. Test results on one other patient who was potentially exposed to the virus are expected to be released later this week. Earlier in the week the VDH announced that it was investigating three cases that potentially met the criteria for the disease. -The News & Advance
  5. Another hospital promises not to sue its patients (so much)— Sometimes, public shaming does make a difference. Mary Washington Healthcare says that lawsuits against patients who owe the hospital money will be rare moving forward. A study last year revealed MHW sued more patients for unpaid bills than any other Virginia hospital in 2017. Since then, the hospital says it has overhauled its policies to avoid taking people to court. The policy changes will reportedly include an emphasis on qualifying more patients for financial assistance and setting up payment plans. -The Free-Lance Star

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