Fully-Vaccinated Virginians No Longer Need Masks in Most Settings

Fully-vaccinated Virginians no longer need to wear masks in most places, including indoors. On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam updated his mask mandate, effective Saturday, to align with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance released Thursday.

“Virginians have been working hard, and we are seeing the results in our strong vaccine numbers and dramatically lowered case counts,” Northam said in his announcement.

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Virginia’s Minimum Wage Increases to $9.25 an Hour on Saturday

Virginia’s minimum wage is going up to $9.25 an hour on May 1. The change is the result of 2020 legislation, part of several pro-worker changes initiated by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in 2020 and 2021. Advocates say the change will boost the economy by enabling more people to pay rent and spend money in Virginia businesses. But opponents say the increase violates free-market principles and will harm employers who have to increase their hourly compensation while dealing with a COVID-19 economy.

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Northam Administration Moves to Tax PPP Loan Recipients

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s administration has recommended to the General Assembly that the state not conform its tax code to specific provisions included in the recently-signed federal emergency relief bill that gives businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans a significant tax benefit.

Under the provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), signed into law by President Donald Trump in late December, businesses in the Commonwealth that got forgivable PPP loans would not be taxed on that income and could deduct their business expenses covered by the federal payment.

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Issue of Paid Sick Leave Returning to Virginia General Assembly in 2021

The debate over whether or not businesses should be required to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave will again be taken up by the Virginia General Assembly when it convenes for its regular session on January 13th.

After multiple bills calling for paid sick leave were killed by a Senate committee during this past summer’s special session, those same lawmakers are once again intending to offer legislation on the issue.

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Blackburn, Bredesen Reveal Stark Differences on Judges, Obamacare at NFIB Forum

Phil Bredesen, Marsha Blackburn

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Tennessee U.S. Senate Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) said, if elected, she’ll vote to appoint federal judges based on whether they abide by what’s in the U.S. Constitution. Her opponent, Democrat Phil Bredesen, said voting to appoint a judge really boils down to his or her qualifications and temperament.…

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Tennessee Adds 45,000 Jobs Over Past Year

Handshake deal

Tennessee’s unemployment rates remain low and the state added 45,000 jobs the past year, the National Federation of Independent Business said. According to the March 2018 numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 82 of the state’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates that month than they…

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