House Democrats focus on jobs, wage reform

The Virginia House Democrats outlined their legislative agenda to raise the minimum wage, increase workforce training and protect minority rights during this General Assembly session.

The caucus, led by House Minority Leader David Toscano of Charlottesville, held a press news conference Thursday to reaffirm efforts to boost Virginia’s economy. “Our priority is to be laser-focused on creating jobs. That’s what our governor has done, that’s what we have tried to support, and that’s the positive message that Virginians want to hear,” Toscano said.

Democratic representatives took turns introducing legislation aimed to improve workforce practices.

Del. Kenneth Plum of Reston has filed House Bill 1771, which would increase the minimum wage from the current level of $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2018.

Del. Matthew James of Portsmouth submitted HB 1592, to require community colleges to set policies that would award academic credit to students who have completed state-approved registered apprenticeship credentials.

Del. Jennifer Boysko of Herndon has filed legislation to address discriminatory pay gaps. HB 2190 would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage or salary history.

During the press news conference, House Democrats accused their Republican counterparts of focusing on “socially divisive” legislation such Del. Bob Marshall’s “bathroom bill,” which would prohibit individuals from using a bathroom of the opposite sex in government buildings.

Del. Mark Sickles of Franconia submitted two pieces of legislation to remove prohibitions on same-sex marriage which are no longer valid following the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. HJ 538 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would repeal the definition of marriage as “only a union between one man and one woman.” Similarly, HJ 1395 would repeal the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriage in the state code.

Toscano presented the outlined agenda as an effort by the Democratic caucus to present “a positive approach to legislation.”

Republicans have also vowed to promote Virginia’s economic development during this legislative session, which began Wednesday. Top priorities on the Republican agenda included cutting government red tape to encourage job creation, instituting welfare reforms and funding public schools.
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Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27


The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to host Oct. 30 job fair


Henrico Schools will host a job fair Oct. 30.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21


Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Participants sought for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’


The Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook, and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond is seeking participants.

The event, one of three walks the association will hold in its service area this year (the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck walk was held Oct. 7 and the Fredericksburg walk Oct. 14) raises money to help the association fight the disease, which affects more than 26,000 people in the metro Richmond region. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Oct. 25 to focus on cybersecurity


Henrico County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25 to discuss cybersecurity.

Thornton also has invited candidates who will be seeking election to local offices on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to introduce themselves. > Read more.

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October 2017
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The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will present “Top Girls” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5-7 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 8 in Cousins Studio Theatre. Caryl Churchill’s audacious and inventive play asks this thought-provoking question, "What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve ‘success?’” Join the Department of Theatre and Dance for a post-show question-and-answer session with the director and members of the cast following the Friday and Saturday performances. This event is part of the Tucker-Boatwright Festival of the Arts. Tickets are $10. For details, call 289-8980 or visit http://www.modlin.richmond.edu. Full text

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