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…

As many homeowners know, skylights tend to leak. Turns out that’s even the case when they cost $104.5 million.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Poll shows support for Democratic policies– A new Roanoke College poll shows Virginians support several of the Democrats’ stated priorities going into the 2020 General Assembly. According to the survey, the majority of residents support passing the Equal Rights Amendment and raising the minimum wage. They also found the majority of Virginians support gun safety legislation, which played prominently in many Democrats’ campaigns. According to the poll, 84% support universal background checks on all firearm purchases and 76% percent support protection orders, which would allow the police to seize guns from people determined to be an immediate threat to themselves or the public. –The Roanoke Times
  2. Legal implications of “Second Amendment Sanctuaries”– Democrats’ impending take over of the General Assembly has prompted twelve Republican-led county boards to declare themselves as “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” As more counties say they will refuse to enforce new gun safety regulations, there are numerous questions about the legal implications of the designation. Virginia is a “Dillon Rule” state, meaning local police departments are required to follow state law. Police departments can, however, use discretion when enforcing the law and could choose to not prioritize enforcing gun safety laws. -The Dogwood  
  3. Virginia rarely helps workers recover wages– An analysis by Legal Aid Justice Center shows Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry rarely recovers wages for workers. The Department of Labor rarely sided with workers and almost never held the companies accountable when it did. The report found the state ordered companies to pay back wages in fewer than 19% of cases and that the state dismissed 47% of the cases without review. -Virginia Mercury
  4. Dominion Energy’s wind farm unnecessarily expensive– Dominion Energy’s proposed wind farm off of Virginia’s coast may be unnecessarily expensive, and customers may be left to foot the bill. The project is expected to cost $7.8 billion, but experts say that price could be lowered dramatically if the company participated in competitive bidding. According to University of Virginia Professor Bill Shob, using such an approach could lower the costs of producing wind power by 32%. –WVTF
  5. Virginia Board of Education report– A new report by the Virginia Board of Education shows that teacher shortages, under-funding, and ‘persistent achievement gaps’ remain problems in the state. According to the report, there are currently 900 unfilled teacher positions in the state. The study also found that Virginia is one of seventeen states with “regressive funding,” meaning schools with lower-income students often get less funding than those with wealthier families. -13 News Now 

A graph before you go…

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/VA.html