‘State of Working Virginia’ report released

Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 2:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many Virginians are working hard but are still having a hard time making ends meet.

“For those of us who care about poverty, care about our neighbors, we must care about wages, benefits and working conditions for Virginia’s workers,” Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Executive Director Kim Bobo said.

Bobo says most economically poor families in the commonwealth struggle to get out of the red.

“Some of the most significant improvements for workers include Medicaid expansion, which primarily assisted workers and their families in low-wage jobs, raising the minimum wage, which has raised wages for several 100,000 workers,” she said.

Bobo says Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a bill that improves Virginia’s earned income tax credit. She believes this is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

“We need to raise wages, especially for those in the lowest paid jobs, increased support for working people setting standards for paid sick days, and paid leave continuing expansion on health care access,” Bobo said.

“Medicaid expansion was and continues to be a lifeline for people,” Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis Deputy Director of Policy Freddy Mejia said. “Virginia lawmakers still have worked to ensure increased and continued access to health care coverage for Virginia workers.”

Mejia says nearly 680,000 adults have health coverage today because of Medicaid expansion.

“The uninsured rate for non-elderly adults in Virginia has dropped from 12.7% in 2018 to 8.2% in 2021. That is the impact of public policy on working families across the commonwealth,” he said.

Click here for the full report.

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