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. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here.
But first …
Happy Friday! We hope everyone had a great Halloween, hopefully none of our Chesapeake readers got fined for trying to trick or treat over the age of 14.
Five things you need to know today …
- Baby Boomers dominate Virginia voting– Millennial and Generation X voters outnumber older voters in Virginia, but Baby Boomers still dominate the polls, largely because people over 45 vote at much higher rates. Baby Boomers participate at higher levels than other generations and are consistent with their voting habits. Election officials are expecting roughly 30 percent of all registered voters to show up, significantly lower than the 60 percent that voted in the presidential elections. The more voters that turn out, especially voters who are younger than 45, the better Democrats are expected to do. -Alexandria Gazette Packet
- Reduced Homelessness in Virginia– Homelessness in Virginia is on the decline, dropping 36 percent in the last ten years from 9,080 homeless people in 2010 to 5,780 this year. Virginia’s homelessness numbers are significantly lower than other states, with a rate of seven homeless people per 10,000 residents. State housing officials ascribe the improvement to the state’s rapid-rehousing approach, which helps those who are at risk of being homeless pay for rent. –The Virginian-Pilot
- Hemp Fiber Processor coming to Wythe County– Hemp Fiber Processor coming to Wythe County, making it Virginia’s first hemp processing facility. Appalachian Biomass Processing is planning to invest almost $900,000 in the new operation, which will create 13 new jobs and buy more that 6,000 tons of Virginian hemp. While hundreds have obtained licenses from the state to grow hemp since it was removed from the federal controlled substances list in 2018, processing facilities haven’t experienced nearly the same growth. –The Roanoke Times
- Virginia Beach to police short-term rentals— Virginia Beach will start cracking down on short-term rentals starting Friday. The changes are expected to make it more difficult for homeowners to lease their property via home-sharing websites like Airbnb and VRBO. The city passed legislation last January requiring new short-term rentals to be approved by the city council after residents complained about them affecting their quality of life. Legislators have delayed implementing the laws until now to give both staff and residents adequate time to prepare for the change. It remains unclear, however, if the city will be able to adequately enforce the new policies, as its zoning office is understaffed. –The Virginian-Pilot
- Police tip reward legislation introduced– Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is proposing raising the maximum non-taxable reward for police tips resulting in arrests from $1,000 to $5,000. It’s rare for the Speaker to file legislation, but Cox, like the rest of the General Assembly, is up for re-election. Sheila Bynum-Coleman’s campaign called the legislation a “no-brainer” but pointed out that Cox admits that $1,000 is less than it used to be due to inflation but while remaining staunchly against raising the minimum wage. “No one can comfortably live on $7.25 an hour, and with inflation, it gets harder and harder for folks who earn that to make ends meet,” her campaign manager Rob Silverstein said. –Daily Press