Both the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate today overwhelmingly approved their respective versions of the state’s spending plan. Budget day at the Virginia State Capitol typically reveals how lawmakers really feel about the state of the Commonwealth and how dire things are.
A lot weighs heavily on the House budget, and Appropriations Chair Chris Jones insists that it has much of what Virginia needs-including pay raises for state employees, teachers, and state police, and no cuts to K-12 education.
Sixteen percent of children in Virginia live in poverty, and one in four families is considered working poor. They’re in contact with teachers and principals, social workers and psychologists, and in some cases, police and judges, but those professionals may not understand what it means to be poor.
Families with two kids who earn less than $24,000 a year fall below the poverty line, and with that comes some unique challenges. Alicia Lenahan is president of Piedmont CASA, a group that advocates for abused and neglected children in court.
The City of Buena Vista has a loan payment due on January 15, a payment it does not intend to make. What will happen after that is unknown at present but one possible result is that local government officials and the police department will receive eviction notices. A look at a financial crisis in this Blue Ridge city of 7,000 residents that's been in the making for more than a decade.