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Columns

  • Lobby Day at the Va. General Assembly

        I was happy to participate in the 2015 “Lobby Day” events at the General Assembly in Richmond recently.
    My union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 400,     sent a team of us to attend the Virginia AFL-CIO’s Legislative Conference, primarily to lobby on behalf of an increase in the minimum wage.
        We began on Sunday evening with a plenary session at the Richmond Marriott Inn, where we heard from several “friends of labor.”

  • House passes bills for vets

    By Delegate Terry Austin
    19th District

        We wrapped up our third week of session and I’m happy to report that things are quickly moving forward.  We have made significant progress on the thousands of bills and resolutions that come before us, and we’ve had a lot of interesting discussion and testimonies in my committees. 

  • General Assembly session moves toward crossover

    By Senator Steve Newman
    23rd District

        Hard as it may be to believe, we are already over one-third of the way through the 2015 General Assembly session.  The deadline on bills came at the end of last week, and this year’s session will consider over 2,100 bills and over 400 resolutions.  That means the General Assembly will have to process an average of 55 bills every day we’re in session.

  • Commentary: A tale of 2 towns

    By Patrick Ellis
    Goose Creek Studio
    Bedford

        “There are no distressed buildings downtown.” 
        This was Councilman Steve Rush’s response to a question put to candidates for town council concerning what the town was doing to address the large number of distressed buildings downtown.  I get it. 

  • Combating human trafficking

    Many Americans don’t think of human trafficking as a problem in our country. The sale of children for sex sounds like something that could only happen in faraway places, but tragically it is happening right here in the United States every single day. Virginia is no exception. According to the FBI, sex trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world. Sadly, this immoral and criminal industry is also a profitable one. It’s estimated that child sex trafficking in the United States alone is a $9.8 billion industry.

  • Ensuring working families can save for college

    By Congressman Robert Hurt

     

  • Is it reasonable?

      
        It’s budget time again and all our local governing bodies are about to begin wrestling with the budget bear. It can be a tough time because they often have to begin working before they know what the General Assembly is going to do to them.

  • Obama’s right: The union is strong

    It’s always a pleasure to watch and listen to this particular president give a major speech or formal address.
        Barack Obama’s soaring rhetorical abilities can’t be matched by anyone else in politics today. His ability to speak reflects what even his critics know to be his deep intellect.

  • What is a tax?

     By David Lowry
    Moneta

        Over the years Supervisor Steve Arrington has been a strong advocate for maintaining our low property tax rate here in Bedford County and has actively acted on his beliefs, even to the point of participating in the censure of his fellow Republican supervisors who voted for a tax increase.

  • There’s a lot to consider this session

    By Sen. Steve Newman
    23rd District

    This week marked the first full week of the 2015 General Assembly session, with bills being debated in committees and on the floor of the Senate.   Short sessions, like the one this year, tend to move a little more briskly in order to handle the volume of legislation in just  45 days.   And, there’s a lot of legislation to consider.