Economy and Economics

Trading with Cuba
10:04 am
Mon March 9, 2015

VA Lawmakers Weigh In on US/Cuba Relations

Flickr user Artur Staszewski
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With more than $40 million in sales, Virginia is the third largest exporter of agricultural goods to Cuba - after Georgia and Louisiana. Some lawmakers hope to normalize trade relations - but some feel it’s best to maintain our distance.  

After recently venturing down to Cuba, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner describes how the embargo hurts Virginia farmers. 

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General Assembly
4:36 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Lawmakers Promise Rate Freeze, But Electric Bills May Still Rise

Credit Creative Commons

Virginia’s two big electric companies will escape state regulation of their base rates for up to eight years under a bill which caught opponents by surprise – a measure just approved by the Virginia House.   Its sponsor promised a rate freeze for consumers, but your bill could still be going up.

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Unclaimed Cash
6:40 am
Thu February 12, 2015

VA Treasury's Piggy Bank of Unclaimed Cash

Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Faced with a budget shortfall, state legislators are eyeing a very large piggy bank - the unclaimed cash of Virginia residents being held by the Treasury. About $1.7 billion dollars - that’s billion with a B - is awaiting a call from the rightful owners. 

Benjamin Jarvela looks nothing like Santa Claus, but he hopes to give Virginians lots of presents this year.  As spokesman for the state’s treasury, he says one in four people has a forgotten utility deposit or some other money in Richmond, waiting to be claimed. 

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Piedmont CASA
11:58 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Poverty Simulation: Living Close to the Edge

Credit Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates

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.

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General Assembly
4:20 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Money Committees Report Revenue Bump

There’s good news from the Governor and the heads of the General Assembly’s money committees. Despite dealing earlier with a significant revenue shortfall, the state is now seeing a $338-million revenue bump from withholding through corporate income tax and insurance premiums.

It amounts to $162 million more over the biennium after a $176 million  deposit into the Rainy Day Fund. Governor McAuliffe says it provides a little extra money to spend as the budget is crafted.

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