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.
It’s everyone’s favorite holiday– Crossover Day! Today was the last day lawmakers can vote on legislation from their own chamber during this session. From here on out, they’ll only be able to consider bills passed in the other chamber and budget items.
Five things you need to know today …
- Voting law overhaul– Measures calling for same-day voter registration and a ban on existing voter ID laws both cleared the House on Monday. If the law passes, voters will now be able to vote with several different forms of identification, including college student IDs and utility bills with their address. While Republicans have long blocked such proposals citing potential voter fraud, Democrats have said those concerns as misplaced. Del. Chris Hurst (D-Montgomery) said senior citizens have called his office complaining that they had been turned away from polling station because they didn’t have required identification. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- The marijuana majority– Marijuana decriminalization proved to be surprisingly popular in the House. Nine Republicans joined Democrats to pass HB 972 on a 63-34 vote on Monday. The legislation, which was introduced by Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), would block possession charges from going on criminal records and seal former convictions. The bill still maintains the current standard that possession of marijuana with an intent to sell is a crime. The state Senate is expected to vote on a similar bill today. -The Virginian-Pilot
- The future of gambling is here— Gambling could soon be the norm in the Commonwealth. Both the House and Senate have repealed legislation banning the sale of lottery tickets online. The legislation passed through the Senate with bipartisan support on a 33-6 vote on Monday, and the House voted 77-21 to do the same. Similarly, the House and Senate both passed laws allowing sports betting from home. The bills still need to be signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in order to become law. -Virginia Mercury
- State investigation into Virginia Beach shooting likely— A bill calling for an independent investigation into the Virginia Beach shooting has stalled but one may still happen anyway. A bill introduced by Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) and Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) passed the House Rules Committee, but ultimately was not heard by the Appropriations Committee. Top lawmakers are discussing inserting the formation of a state commission into the state budget. House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn’s office told The Virginian-Pilot that the budget will “likely” include money for a commission. -The Virginian-Pilot
- No deal for Coliseum— The Richmond City Council voted against a $1.5 billion redevelopment proposal Monday night. The planned development would have revamped the Richmond Coliseum. Supporters of the project, including Mayor Levar Stoney, said that the development deal would spur growth downtown and create jobs for city residents. Opponents expressed concern, citing a lack of transparency, financial risk and potential displacement. The majority of the council voted for resolution supporting a new approach to the development process, with input from the mayor’s office. –Richmond Times-Dispatch