Richmond, VA -- Governor Ralph Northam today placed the interest of businesses over the interests of the working people of Virginia in choosing to suspend multiple pro-worker bills. Northam proposed to delay until May 2021 even the paltry minimum wage raise to $9/hr passed in the 2020 legislative session by the Democratic Party. Essential workers are risking their health and possibly their lives to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of being denied urgently needed economic support, they should be given additional hazard pay for their critical work.
Taking advantage of the present crisis, Northam has also proposed to suspend raises for state employees and teachers as well as denying school workers and other public employees even the limited collective bargaining rights agreed to by the General Assembly. Once again, the Democratic party has shown itself to be a party for the business class, not the working class.
While the Democratic Party presents itself as a party for working people, the Governor's actions today demonstrate that a party which takes millions in corporate, PAC and special interest money works for those interests, and not for us. The Green Party is entirely people-funded, freeing us to stand up for fully funded public education, the right to unionize for worker protections, and for a living wage of at least $15/hr. Money in the hands of the people, not just corporations, is what will stimulate and build a stable economy and recovery.