Youngkin Announces Major Policy Goals in His ‘Day One Game Plan’

GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin unveiled a long list of policy priorities prominently featuring tax breaks alongside spending on law enforcement and schools in his “Day One Game Plan.” His Monday announcement in Falls Church also included a declaration that he would ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in schools or used in teacher training, and he said he wouldn’t implement COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I will not allow COVID lock downs to ever occur in Virginia again,” Youngkin said to loud cheers and applause from the crowd.

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Virginia Businesses Want More Unemployment Insurance Funding to Avoid Tax Hike

In an effort to prevent a future tax hike on Virginia businesses, Gov. Ralph Northam proposed allocating $862 million in federal relief money to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, but a small business association is warning it might not be enough.

The Unemployment Trust Fund, which provides unemployed Virginians with benefits, is funded primarily through payroll taxes from employers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s fund dried up and the state was forced to borrow money from the federal government. Unless the losses can be fully offset, business taxes would automatically increase to maintain the fund because of the state’s funding formula.

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Watchdog: Virginia Employment Commission Still Struggling

A spokesperson for the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) told legislators that the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is still unable to answer most of its incoming calls and expressed concern about the backlog of certain types of claims requiring extra review. On Tuesday, JLARC Principal Legislative Analyst Lauren Axselle gave a brief update to legislators, noting that an interim report will be complete in September with a final report on the VEC scheduled for November.

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Virginia Employment Commissioner Says Commission on Track to Address Claims Backlog; Legislators Still Receiving High Volumes of Complaints

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is on track to finish adjudicating outstanding unemployment insurance claims that were pending as of May 10th, Commissioner Ellen Hess said on Thursday. A settlement in a lawsuit against the VEC requires the backlog of 92,158 claims to be resolved by Labor Day.

“As of June 5, 66,966 claims remain in this effort,” Hess told the Commission on Unemployment Compensation, a joint commission with legislators from both chambers.

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Settlement Reached in Virginia Employment Commission Lawsuit

Eastern District Court Judge Henry Hudson issued an order on Tuesday with details enforcing the settlement between the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) and plaintiffs who sued over delays while processing unemployment claims flagged as potentially ineligible.

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Virginia Employment Commission Lawsuit Reaches Agreement as Gov Northam Orders Faster Claims Processing

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is facing criticism and a lawsuit over delays while processing unemployment claims flagged as potentially ineligible. On Tuesday, in court-ordered mediation, the parties in the lawsuit came to an agreement. The same day, Governor Ralph Northam announced Executive Directive 16, requiring the VEC to add 300 new adjudication officers and make technology upgrades.

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Judge Grants Virginia Employment Commission Brief Extension to Respond to Class-Action Lawsuit over Slow Unemployment Claims Processing

Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.

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Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Hustle Before the Convention

After months of contention among party leadership and claims of cheating and irregularities among the candidates, the Republican Party of Virginia will finally select its candidates for statewide office on Saturday, although the final count may not be known for several days. The candidates have fanned out across the state, emphasizing policies like reopening schools and businesses, supporting gun rights, and fighting for election integrity. This week the candidates are making their final appeals to convention delegates with more calls for reform, campaign stops, and support from major GOP political figures.

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Extended Unemployment Benefits Federal Program Ending in Virginia

Approximately 20,000 Virginians who have been relying on extended unemployment benefits over the last several months amidst the coronavirus pandemic will no longer receive those payments come Saturday. 

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced Wednesday that it has been notified by the U.S. Department of Labor that the Extended Benefits Program in Virginia will end on November 21. 

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Virginia Government Asking Citizens to Repay Thousands in Pandemic Unemployment Claims

Virginians are reporting letters from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) asking for repayment of unemployment claims due to VEC error.
The government hasn’t made any exceptions for the VEC’s errors resulting in overpayments – even with the mandatory shutdowns throughout this pandemic.

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