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.
Mark this down as something that would only happen in Virginia: People are mad about the new location of a horse statue that commemorates the 1.5 million horses and mules that died in Civil War.
Five things you need to know today …
- Assault weapons ban passes House— The House passed legislation from Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) that would ban possession of magazines holding more than 12 rounds of ammunition and the import sale or transfer of semiautomatic rifles with certain characteristics. The bill does not ban the possession of firearms meeting that criteria that have already been purchased. But the bill has no companion bill in the Senate, and its fate is uncertain in the coming weeks. -Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Virginia sues opioid manufacturer—Virginia is suing pharmaceutical company Cephalon for allegedly lying about clinical trials results for the opioid Fentora. According to court documents, the company hid the fact that patients had overdosed, stolen medication and died from federal regulators. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney General Mark Herring in November, but is gaining more attention. Citing the damage the opioid epidemic has wrought across the state, Herring said he is suing to hold the companies “accountable for the crisis that they created.” -The Washington Post
- Plaque commemorating slave trade stolen— Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. The Washington Post has the bizarre story of a stolen plaque marking the location of slave auctions in Charlottesville. A local man whose ancestors were slave owners confessed to the crime, saying he did it for a surprising reason: He believes the city should have a more prominent memorial. Now, the man is facing criticism from the community for acting from a place privilege and that it isn’t his place to decide how slaves should be commemorated. -The Washington Post
- One more monument story— Pretty soon, Virginia will probably have a whole lot fewer Confederate statues. Both the House of Delegates and the Senate approved bills granting localities the freedom to remove statues. If passed into law, cities will be free to remove Confederate monuments. Gov. Ralph Northam says he supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law. -The Virginian-Pilot
- New funding model for Hampton Roads Transit— Both chambers of the General Assembly passed legislation yesterday to increase funding for Hampton Roads Transit. The HRT says the money will allow the agency to invest in a regional bus for the six cities it serves. Almost $20 million in new funding will be paid by a new tax on land records, and $6 million from a hotel tax surcharge of 1%. The House and Senate will now expected to consider each other’s bill. -The Virginian-Pilot