Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 28

By Brian Carlton

April 28, 2021

Virginia stays the same in Congress, minimum wage will go up on Monday, schools are headed back to class and we dive into the American Revolution.

Daily Number

700 – Earlier this week, we started the story of “The Gunpowder Incident.” After Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty or give me death” speech at the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, the colony’s governor, Lord Dunmore, decided it was time to remove some of the gunpowder at the Williamsburg magazine. That didn’t go over so well. 

On April 20, the gunpowder was taken. By April 26, even the House of Burgesses was calling for the gunpowder to be returned. And now we come to April 28. 

Today’s number stands for the 700 men who mustered at Fredericksburg today in 1775. They decided to do two things. First, they sent a messenger to Williamsburg to assess the situation. Some of the group wanted to march on the capital, but George Washington asked them to reconsider. But a thin margin, they agreed not to march. 

Virginia Won’t Get Another Congressional Seat

While the final data won’t be released until August, the Census Bureau released raw numbers this week. What we learned wasn’t much of a surprise. Virginia grew, but not enough to get another congressional seat. 

Over the last decade, the Commonwealth’s population grew to 8.63 million. That’s a 7.9% increase, higher than the U.S. average of 7.4% but not enough to add a seat. Why? Because the U.S. House can’t add extra seats. The Constitution gives each state one guaranteed seat in the House. That’s seats 1-50. The remaining seats are divided up, based on population growth. 

The Apportionment Act of 1911 and its amendments in the decades since, capped the total number of seats at 435. The only way to add seats to the current total, without changing the law, is to add a new state. That means seats 51 through 435 in the House are up for grabs. 

The fastest growing states gain, while ones that are shrinking lose seats. Those in the middle, like Virginia, who have gained but not enough to be included in the top tier, just maintain what they have. 

Virginia’s Minimum Wage Set to Increase Monday

Virginia’s minimum wage was supposed to increase at the beginning of this year. That didn’t happen, as Gov. Ralph Northam delayed the plan, saying he wanted to give companies more time to recover from COVID-19 shutdowns. As a result, he pushed the increase back to May 3.

So what will that mean for companies and employees? What changes on Monday? It doesn’t automatically push the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.  It raises the wage rate in chunks, first going up to $9.50 in May. Then, the rate will increase to $11.00 by Jan. 2022. Then, it will rise to $12.00 by Jan. 2023. 

In fact, Virginia’s minimum wage will not be at $15.00 until at least 2026. And that’s not until three government agencies approve it. Under this law, the Virginia Employment Commission and two other agencies will hold a study, observing the effects of Virginia’s minimum wage. 

Based on their findings, then the state will decide if they’ll move to $15. 

Virginia Schools Are Heading Back To Class

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 28

At different points this month, we’ve seen the memes and heard the claims that Virginia schools are still shut down. This week’s updated data from the Virginia Department of Education says something different. In fact, 55 of the Commonwealth’s 132 districts are back to a full in-person schedule.

As of Monday, there are no districts fully remote. The last two, Richmond and Sussex County, at least have some students in class. Richmond City Schools is the lowest, with less than 5% of students returning to class.

All total, 97 districts, more than two-thirds of the state, are either partially in-person or fully returned to classes.

Scott Wins Canvass to Be 88th District Nominee

Another candidate has made it to the November ballot. On April 24, the Republican Party held a canvass for the 88th District race. A canvass is a closed election, run by the party. In this case, Republicans could vote at four polling places around the district on Saturday. 

There’s a spot coming open as current Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania) plans to retire at the end of this term. He’s served the 88th District for nearly two decades, winning re-election in 2019 with 56% of the vote. The Republican nominee for the race will be Spotsylvania resident Phillip Scott. He picked up 614 votes, with Rich Breeden coming in second and Stafford County School Board member Holly Hazard finishing third. 

Tuesday’s Trivia Answer: That Was A Long Movie

So on Tuesday, we asked what the longest movie in history was. The hint was crazy enough. You could indeed fly 16.8 times around the world before this movie ended.

The movie is called Logistics and came out in 2012. How long is it? The runtime clocks in at 35 days and 17 hours. Swedish filmmakers Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson are the ones you can blame for this “experimental film.”

The movie is about the life cycle of a pedometer. Yes, we’re not joking. The filmmakers literally shoot footage of one pedometer’s entire “life” from assembly line on. We probably won’t search for that one on Netflix.

Don’t Share Your Card

We mentioned something similar a couple weeks ago, but law enforcement agencies and the Virginia Better Business Bureau are asking for a gentle reminder. Don’t post your vaccination card to social media. State officials warn you could be causing problems if you do.

The card contains your full name and birthday, as well as information about where you were vaccinated. As with most things, scammers can pull down that data, edit and sell it. Already, reports have come in of people trying to sell fake vaccination cards on eBay and Tik Tok.

BBB officials also point out that someone could steal your identity by combining the information on that card with material already on your social profile.

 Instead of sharing pics of the entire card, the BBB suggests just showing your vaccination sticker. Or, if you’re determined to share the card, block out your personal information.

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