The Albemarle County Democrats shared these useful links on bill tracking for the session:
Legislation / Legislative Process
One reason the economy is doing so well (see below!) is the investment in American infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other initiatives. The White House Tuesday launched an “Invest in America” website letting everyone see where the money is going.
Some specific effects:
- “Thirty million fewer healthcare visits. Fewer staff, increased claims backlog, longer wait times for benefits. Almost a $30 billion shortfall for veterans funding.” Military Times, 4/24/23
- “…kick 300,000 children out of child care and Head Start, slash nutrition services for more than 1 million seniors and turn off the heat in 5 million low-income homes.” MSNBC, 4/23/23
- “…make healthcare more expensive and less accessible for 2 million vulnerable people who rely on community health centers.” MSNBC, 4/23/23
- Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “said the budget cuts would hurt students and student loan borrowers in part by eliminating loan forgiveness, ‘pulling 60,000 educators and support staff from schools’ and ‘derail(ing) the response to the youth mental health crisis in this country.'” USA Today, 4/25/23
- “…make college more expensive by reducing the maximum Pell Grant award by nearly $1,000 for the 6.6 million recipients, as well as 80,000 who will no longer receive those grants.” MSNBC, 4/23/23
Here are a few highlights Del. Sally Hudson flagged last week:
- Thousands of Virginia workers got a raise as our minimum wage went up to $12/hr. Just two years ago, Virginia ranked dead last among Oxfam America’s worst states for workers. We’ve since climbed to the middle of the pack, as we’ve modernized the laws protecting workers’ wages and basic bargaining rights. There’s an awful lot of work still left to do, but this step is something to celebrate.
- With wages going up, Virginia also cut taxes on the things we all buy most. The state’s grocery tax has ended, another step long overdue. Virginia was one of just 13 states left in the country that still taxed grocery sales, and those days are finally done. We still have local governments that rely on grocery taxes for revenue, so there’s more we can do to ease taxes on working families.
- If you’re shopping in either Charlottesville or Albemarle County, be sure to bring a bag; there’s now a five cent tax on plastic bags.
[We got an update on this last one from the Sierra Club: you can donate your extra reusable grocery bags at Refill Renew, 171-B Allied Lane (off of McIntire Road) —or— at Dogwood Refillery, 190 Zan Road (off of Hillsdale Drive). More sites are being lined up. For info about the tax see the City of Charlottesville website.]