Since cross-over and thanks to the amazing labor lobbying team, a lot of bad worker and voter bills were killed on party line votes in the Senate. Again we can't thank union activists enough for all of their hard work week in and week out.
While most of our bills have made it through the process this session, the Budget remains. Last week, the House and Senate debated and voted to adopt their respective budgets as we mentioned in our Week 6 blog post. Our friends at the Commonwealth Institute have put together a terrific side-by-side budget comparison worth taking a look at. In short, there is a gulf of difference between the two and huge disparities in the priorities reflected in spending.
Looking ahead to the last week of session, we are focused on seeing the last few good worker bills over the finish line and advocating for the best budget for workers.
For now, check out this week's highlights, and don't forget, sign up to virtually lobby with us this session -- the more labor activists we have, the better!
Defeated Bad Bills:
Attacks on Public Employee Organizing/Bargaining Rights (HB 336/ 337/ 341/ 790/ 883)
Attacks on Minimum Wage Increases (HB 296/ HB 320/ HB 1040)
Attacks on Prevailing Wage (HB 58/ HB 883)
Attacks on PLAs (HB 883/ HB 1091)
Attacks on Public Education: teachers and funding (HB 9/ HB 294/ HB 356/ HB 1024)
Attacks on Freedom to Vote (HB 46 plus several others that threaten access to absentee voting, voting by mail and add obstacles like discriminatory photo ID requirements)
Good Bills That Advanced/Passed:
Buy Virginian- Buy American preference for PPE/ study of additional products (SB 416)
School Construction Funding (SB 473)
Payment of wages- subcontractor payments (SB 550)
Next week is the last week of session! Bills that have passed committees and still need to pass through both chambers are either still awaiting floor votes, or are being amended by the House and the Senate through negotiations led by legislators in “conference” committees. We know several bills that effect working families will likely go into conference. So, one last push from us is needed. Please contact your legislator to ensure working families across Virginia are heard and protected!
Featuring Nikki Robinson (CWA 2201) and Julia Newton (SEIU 512)