Apologies in advance: Having departed for a 13-month-delayed Kids and Grandkids West Coast tour, we fear this little newsletter will be a bit abridged this week. Still, there remains a hotbed of activity in Virginia as The Old Dominion turns into a 21st Century version of The Golden State to ignore it all.
1.)“Judge Adrianne Bennett of Virginia Beach, the former chairwoman of the Virginia Parole Board who is at the center of an ongoing scandal, went on “extended leave” in April and court clerks were instructed not to reach out to her with questions.” So begins an excellent Richmond Times-Dispatch story recapping the Parole Board scandal, her involvement, and now her disappearance (here). We pray all is well with Judge Bennett’s health and that she is not in a witness protection program in an undisclosed location.
2.)Far too little is being made of the fact that a major reason for Virginia’s $500 million revenue surplus is conscious tax policy decisions made by the Ralph Northam Administration to take more of what you earn. Jefferson Institute Senior Fellow Steve Haner makes something of that fact here, along with two suggestions: Follow the Feds in doubling the standard deduction and index state tax rates so inflation doesn’t force taxpayers into ever-higher brackets (here).
3.)We have previously pointed out the variety of taxes raised under the Northam regime (here), many of which are at local option. Those local options have begun to kick in (here).
4.)We have also pointed out for some time the coming of monopoly union contracts in Virginia localities, which are never good for taxpayers or employees. Tuesday a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Committee takes up the proposal in that County, and can be found here. Among other things, the document appears to include binding arbitration (always expensive) and doesn’t appear to have safeguards ensuring employees know they do not have to join a union or safeguards against fraud. Over in Prince William County, Jefferson Institute Visiting Fellow F. Vincent Vernuccio will be speaking at a May 26 community meeting hosted by Coles District Supervisor Yesli Vega. You can sign up by clicking here. You also watch by clicking here. Coming to your county, city or school board soon …
5.)Certificate of Public Need (COPN) laws for healthcare providers can be a bit complicated to follow … but they are a little like requiring a Burger King franchisee who wants to open on one corner to get permission from the McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut on the other three. The laws are having ramifications for patients and health care providers and, now, hospitals. The progressive Virginia Mercury boils it down here. But over at Bacon’s Rebellion, Jim Sherlock has been digging into the details for a very long time and his last three stories alone are a wealth of information here, here, and here. Good reads, all.
6.)When Governor Northam advocated for permanent work rules changes in response to covid, employer groups like the Virginia Manufacturers, Retailers, and NFIB pointed out it would cause confusion because CDC guidance was moving more nimbly than regulations could. Now that Northam is on the verge of lifting restrictions, guess what? Confusion reigns (here).
7.)The Suburban Virginia Republican Caucus is out with a new video explaining the things you didn’t know about the Virginia Clean Economy Act (here).
8.)And if you thought the Colonial Pipeline shutdown affected gasoline lines, “you ain’t seen nothing yet” (here). Sign a petition to stop the “War on Fossil Fuels” here.
9.)Tired of woke corporations telling you how noble they are? Consumers’ Research is fighting back (here).
10.)Covid regulations have largely been debated as a current political issue. In The Republican Standard, Shaun Kenney digs deeper into the Tyranny of Good Intentions (here).
11.)Our May donor appeal progresses, but we are still a little more than $7,000 short of our May goal of $15,000 (which will be matched to make it $30,000). We don’t ask it often, but we do this month. Lend your support to our work by clicking here.
Finally ... if conservatives are going to succeed in elections, we're going to need the support of Trans people like this.