NEWSLETTER: What’s Bad in January Won’t be Better In May

April 21, 2020

Dear Friend,

In January and February, Virginia Democrats passed a staggering array of legislation that will do long-term damage to Virginia’s economy and business environment.  These included a statewide “Seattle style” increase in the minimum wage, collective bargaining for public employees, prevailing wage legislation, requiring government contractors to pay inflated union wages to employees (really opening the door for expensive out of state union contractors to take business away from Virginia companies and workers.  Touting the robust Virginia economy and low unemployment, The Governor and Democrats in the General Assembly scoffed at the notion that this legislation will be bad for workers and business in Virginia.

That was then, this is now.  

Virginia is in the midst of a 90 day shut-down of its economy, businesses and individuals are in mass default on their obligations, and unemployment claims are skyrocketing.  Most of us want Virginia’s economy to come out of this coronavirus epidemic in a condition strong enough to bring back some, most or all of the employees they have had to furlough or lay off. 

Virginia’s business community begged the governor to veto the legislation, or at a minimum, delay its implementation by a year and require the General Assembly to reenact it next year before becoming effective.  Instead, all the Governor did was offer an amendment to these bills simply delaying their implementation by 120 days.  This does nothing to help Virginia business.  It provides no meaningful relief.  And I, for one, won’t vote for it.  I voted against the legislation originally, and I’m going to vote against it again in the Veto Session. 

I won’t be taken in by the false hope offered by the Governor that somehow everything will be ok if we delay the implementation of this disastrous legislation by a couple of months.  

It won’t be.


Mark Obenshain