Virginia no longer ranked ‘worst for workers’

BY: - September 1, 2021

For years, Virginia has been ranked as one of the “best states for business.” And for years, Virginia has also been ranked one of the worst states for workers. This year, however, the state managed to hold onto the best-for-business claim while shedding the unflattering assessment of its labor policies, rising from dead last to […]

Judge declines to dismiss lawsuit over slow processing of unemployment benefits

BY: - August 31, 2021

A federal judge says he’s not ready to dismiss a lawsuit over Virginia’s slow processing of unemployment claims, citing among other things ongoing complaints that have been arriving in his own office. “The Court continues to frequently receive telephone calls from individuals reporting difficulties processing their claims and communicating with the VEC,” wrote U.S. District […]

Virginia workplace safety regulators agree to let businesses follow CDC pandemic guidelines

BY: - August 26, 2021

The state board that oversees workplace pandemic safety rules agreed to a slate of revisions Thursday, approving new language that will allow businesses to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance in lieu of state regulations. The change was recommended by Gov. Ralph Northam at the urging of the business community and opposed by […]


More regulation of the industry needed to ensure affordable broadband for all

BY: - August 26, 2021

By the Rev. Rick Willis As a member of the Eastern Shore Chapter of Virginia Organizing and a 20-year resident of Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore, I am responding to Ned Oliver’s August 16 comprehensive article in the Mercury regarding the $700 million the General Assembly has budgeted for broadband in its recent special session.  It […]

Port of Virginia to lease terminal to Dominion for offshore wind project

BY: - August 25, 2021

The Port of Virginia will lease the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Dominion Energy in what Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called “the critical next step to propel development of the largest offshore wind project off the East Coast.” “The agreement between the Port of Virginia and Dominion Energy will dramatically accelerate the commonwealth’s transition to clean, […]

Cheesy Westerns, bongs and labor shortages: understanding Va.’s hectic pandemic job market

BY: - August 24, 2021

LYNCHBURG — The Texas Inn sits at the end of Main Street in Lynchburg, an 86-year-old beacon for late-night drunk food with a menu centered around a Depression-era chili recipe and a grease-laden sandwich known as the Cheesy Western. And for more than a decade, you could find Jacob Johns happily working the flat-top grill […]


Fluctuating work week: the devil’s in the details

BY: - August 24, 2021

By Kim Bobo Late one night during the General Assembly’s special session this month, when the Senate was working on its budget amendments, senators approved Amendment 132 offered by Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, by voice vote, which usually means it is not expected to be a close vote. The amendment was described as simply conforming […]

Virginia lawmakers already discussing speeding up retail marijuana sales

BY: - August 17, 2021

Virginia lawmakers are already discussing speeding up the three-year delay between marijuana legalization last month and the beginning of retail sales. “We have legalized the use of marijuana, but we have not legalized the actual purchase of marijuana,” said Del. Paul Krizek, D-Alexandria, during the inaugural meeting Tuesday of the legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis […]

How Virginia plans to spend $700 million on broadband expansion

BY: - August 16, 2021

Virginia lawmakers agreed to devote $700 million in federal pandemic aid to broadband expansion, a sum of money they say will allow them to connect every household in the state to high-speed internet. The money is a victory for rural localities that view high-speed internet access as critical to their survival but have struggled to […]


Could Virginia Rail Express serve as a second Metro?

BY: - August 13, 2021

Commuters who drive I-95 between Fredericksburg and D.C. will not be surprised to hear that they face the consistently worst traffic in the nation. After decades of lane widening have only worsened congestion due to induced demand, Governor Ralph Northam’s administration has doubled down on increased train service as a faster, cheaper, and greener way […]

Virginia school bus drivers left in limbo as state demands they pay back unemployment benefits

BY: - August 10, 2021

Thousands of school bus drivers around Virginia who turned to unemployment benefits to weather the pandemic are being asked to pay the state back — a financial demand drivers say has filled them with anxiety, stress and dread. “How the hell am I ever going to come up with over $7,000 for the state of […]


Equipping the working poor with new resources for a better path forward

BY: - August 10, 2021

By Glenn DuBois, Ph.D. It’s time we’ve had a frank talk about ALICE. After all, we have come to understand more and more the critical role that ALICE plays in Virginia’s economic health and prosperity, and after years of applying that learning toward strategies designed to help ALICE overcome generational inertia, we have reached an […]