Dogwood Daily: Stacks and stacks of bills (the legislative kind)
By Matt Blair
February 5, 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…

We hope you’re in the mood to read about bills and legislation today! There have been a lot of updates on a number of pieces of legislation currently making their way through the General Assembly… And we didn’t even come close to covering all of them.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Online carry permit ban passes subcommittee– A bill that would prohibit Virginians from applying for concealed carry permits online passed a House subcommittee yesterday. If passed, Virginians would have to go to in-person training before receiving a permit. It will now move one more committee before heading the full House for a vote. The Senate’s version of the bill, introduced by Sen. John Bell (D-Loudoun), passed with a 21-19 vote. -ABC 13 News 
  2. Bill banning voter ID requirement advances– It might start getting a whole lot easier to vote. The state Senate approved a bill introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) to remove the photo ID requirement at polling stations. The legislation passed along party lines 21-19. The bill still requires voters to show some form of identification, but Democrats say it will no longer block voters without access to a photo ID. Republicans opposed the bill, however, saying that it helps prevent voter fraud. A House version of the bill cleared subcommittee on Tuesday. –Richmond Times-Dispatch
  3. No drilling, please— Virginia House Democrats passed legislation on Tuesday blocking oil and gas development off the state’s coastline. The bill is a rebuke to the Trump administration’s plans to allow drilling off the Atlantic coast. The bill prevents infrastructure, like pipelines, that could be used to transport gas drilled in federal waters. A companion version of the bill already passed in the Senate and the legislation is expected to head to Gov. Northam for his signature. -The New York Times 
  4. Roulette, anyone?— Pretty soon, you might not have to leave the state to gamble. Virginia lawmakers in House and Senate committees advanced legislation that could potentially clear the way for casinos in the state. If passed, the legislation would allow voters in Bristol, Danville, Richmond, Norfolk and Portsmouth to vote to hold local referendum approving the casinos. Advocates for the measure say casinos would boost the state’s economy, opponents say they will prey on the state’s poor. The measure is just one of several gambling measures currently before the General Assembly. -ABC 13 News
  5. Redistricting amendment progresses– A proposed amendment to the state constitution, which would create a bipartisan commission to draw the state’s political map, advanced in the Senate yesterday. The constitutional amendment cleared through the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee with a 13-1 bipartisan vote. The bill will now head to the Finance and Appropriations Committee to determine the cost of the commission, before heading before the full Senate. The House has yet to take up the amendment, and Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News) introduced a measure with an alternative solution. -The Washington Post

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