Jan. 14 – News Update from the GA
TWO LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES!
ECONOMIC JUSTICE – WAGE THEFT
We’re one step closer to ending Jim Crow-era minimum wage exemptions in Virginia.
SB 1079 passed through committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote. This bill eliminated the exemption to VA’s minimum wage requirements for newsboys, shoe-shine boys, babysitters who work 10 hours or more per week, ushers, doormen, concession attendants, and cashiers in theaters. These jobs were traditionally held by African Americans and these exclusions from the Jim Crow-era must be removed.
RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $ 15/HOUR!
A bill by Senator Rosalyn Dance that would eventually raise Virginia’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2021 will go before the full Senate after a surprise bi-partisan vote. Workers in Virginia deserve a raise and this will help put food on the table, pay rent and provide for the basic costs of raising families in Virginia.
This surprise bi-partisan vote included a “yeah” from Sen. Frank Wagner, (R-Virginia Beach), and Senator Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) who joined four Democratsts in supporting the bill.
VICPP board member, Warren Hoddle testified in the Senate on behalf of the minimum wage bill. “Warren’s message was powerful. He’s a strong advocate for economic justice,” according to Ben Hoyne, Policy Director for VICPP.
Economic Justice – Piece Work did not pass
Senate Bill 1103 did not pass committee and most likely, no further action will be taken and it will die in committee. The bill by Sen. Howell would remove the exemption for piece workers from the Minimum Wage Act. Her mother was an organizer for textile workers who were paid by the piece. We are disappointed that her bill did not pass.
Immigrant Rights – Anti-Sanctuary bill passed
We are disappointed that Senator Black’s anti-sanctuary bill SB 1156 was passed out of committee and will be voted on in the Senate. We believe this bill is unnecessary and sends an unwelcoming message to immigrants. It will likely have a negative impact on public safety, making our streets less safe as immigrant communities lose trust and fear working with law enforcement.
Kendyl Crawford, environmental activist and Director of Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (a program of VICPP) – was profiled in an article in Essence, “Black Women are Leading the Way in Environmental Justice”