Governor McDonnell's Budget for the 1 Percent
This month, Governor McDonnell presented the people of Virginia with a budget that will hurt the 99 percent. Instead of closing tax loopholes that cost the state $12.6 billion annually and reforming the broken tax code, the Governor is taking a cuts-only approach. Over 60% of Virginia corporations pay no income tax in Virginia, but Governor McDonnell refuses to ask them to pay their fair share.
Over the last five years, Virginia’s cuts-only approach to the budget has meant fewer police on the streets, fewer firefighters in the stations, cuts to education funding and dramatic cuts to health care. Governor McDonnell’s budget continues to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens while passing the buck to local governments by inadequately funding vital services.
Now it’s up to the General Assembly to work out a budget. Over the next three months we will be fighting back against the Governor’s proposed cuts.
We urge the General Assembly to reject the following cuts:
• Early Childhood Education: $81 million in funding for the state’s pre-K program.
Virginia cannot afford two more years of a cuts-only approach. Now, more than ever, we need strong public structures – in health care, education, transportation, public safety, and more – to support and protect all Virginians.
Virginia Organizing is part of the Better Choices Coalition and is calling on the Governor to take a balanced approach to the budget. On December 15, we joined coalition partners at the capitol in speaking out against a cuts- only approach and delivered a petition signed by over 1,300 Virginians.
Danville Delivers Holiday Wish to Representative Hurt
During the holiday season many Virginia seniors struggle to pay the bills, let alone afford gifts for their loved ones. On December 15, the Virginia Organizing Danville chapter lined up in front of Rep. Robert Hurt’s Danville office to call on him to protect Social Security, a program that makes the holiday season brighter by keeping thousands of Danville’s seniors out of poverty.
The Health Care Law Helps Young Virginians
The Department of Health and Human Services announced new figures this month showing that the number of uninsured young adults has dropped by 2.5 million as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26 years old, a benefit that helps 31,200 young adults in Virginia this year alone. Khadijah Anderson, a student at George Mason University, is one of them. “I am a full-time student and I work my way through school. The last thing I want to worry about is being booted off my parents' insurance when I turn a certain age. The health care law gives me the peace of mind.”
Calling on Rep. Cantor to Help the Unemployed
As the debate over extending unemployment benefits heated up in Washington, Virginia Organizing and the First Unitarian Universalist Church sponsored a Richmond Unemployment Action Forum on the impact of unemployment and underemployment in our community.
The Richmond Unemployment Action Forum was in solidarity with the thousands of Americans who converged on Washington for “Take Back the Capitol," four days of protest to make the voices of the 99 percent heard and counter the influence of the 1 percent over Congress.
The forum included a panel to discuss the growing wealth disparity and how budget cuts have weakened the safety net just when it is needed the most. Residents contacted their members of Congress, especially Rep. Eric Cantor, about extending unemployment benefits. Thankfully Congress voted to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
Move Our Money USA!
Join us in telling the big banks: No more profiting off of millions of illegal foreclosures. No more billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts. No more hoarding over a trillion dollars while our communities crumble and good jobs disappear. No more stealing our democracy with corporate money in politics. No more funding predatory lenders. Take the divestment pledge today.