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State Likely To Finish With Surplus, Raises for Employees

Virginia state employees could be in for a 2% pay raise, as state revenues achieve a dramatic turnaround from this time last year.

The Governor and the General Assembly approved the 2% hike if the state had a revenue surplus, or a shortfall of less than o1% at the end of fiscal 2015 next month.

State Finance Secretary Rick Brown told members of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday (6/15), Virginia is on track for a $427 million dollar surplus.

Panel Hopes to Create Cybersecurity Partnerships

A legislative panel is hoping to find ways to partner cybersecurity companies with Virginia universities to provide new solutions to threats to the nation’s data and technical infrastructure.

Republican Delegate Glenn Davis of Virginia Beach, says while cybersecurity is in it’s infancy, the Commonwealth can establish itself as “Cyber Alley.”

Brandon Smith works for Kimball and Associates, who specialize in identity management policy and framework development. He says collaborative arrangements, allow the industry to be proactive ahead of the next data breach.

State Employees Will Likely Get 2% Raises

State workers may receive a 2% raise if recent revenue surplus trends continue.

The raise was promised by the General Assembly and Governor McAuliffe earlier this year, provided the state does not close the fiscal year with a shortfall greater than 1%.

Virginia’s May revenue numbers are up 5.8% over 2014 though the economy still faces many challenges ahead of impending cuts from sequestration in October.

Payroll enrollment rose by 280,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate rose from 5.4% to 5.5% as more workers entered the labor force.

NAACP to Pressure House GOP to Redistrict As Scheduled

The Virginia NAACP says it will keep the pressure on the Republican leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates to redraw the state’s 3rd congressional district by September 1st.

A panel of 3 federal judges ruled last week that black voters had been disproportionately packed into the 3rd congressional district, weakening their voting power in surrounding Republican held districts.

Republicans have hinted that they will challenge the judges ruling.

Democrats File Challenge to Voter ID Law

The Democratic Party of Virginia and two Democratic voters have filed a suit against the State Board of Elections to eliminate the state’s photo ID law, which took effect just last year. Craig Carper reports.

The suit contends that the law was passed by Republican majorities in the House and Senate to surpress key constituencies of the Democratic Party, namely the elderly and minorities, many of whom do not have a photo ID. They also allege the law slows down the voting process and leads to long lines, limiting participation.

Martin Defeated in Virginia Primaries; Howell Beats Back Opponent

While most of the incumbents in yesterday’s (6/9) General Assembly primaries held onto their seats, though there were several upsets.

In perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the evening 11th District Republican Senator Steve Martin of Chesterfield, a 22-year incumbent lost to small business owner and grassroots Republican campaign consultant Amanda Chase. Chase received 40% of the vote over Martin with 35% and auto dealer Barry Moore with 25%.

Lawmakers Review Northrop Grumman IT Services

Virginia lawmakers received an update Monday (6/8) on how Northrup Grumman is doing, providing the state’s IT services, as they consider whether to extend the contract or choose another vendor.

Northrup Grumman has provided the services since 2004. Since then, there have been multiple large-scale crashes and significant cost overruns.

While the contract will expire in 2019, the decision to keep them or sign with another vendor will likely need to be in place by 2017 to allow for an appropriate transition.

Court Orders General Assembly to Redraw Congressional Maps

Advocates for non-partisan redistricting were pleased with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Friday (6/5) that the General Assembly must redraw congressional lines by September 1st.

The court found that the legislature packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bobby Scott.

Brian Cannon, Executive Director of One Virginia 2021, says the court’s action puts new pressure on the General Assembly to redraw the 3rd and it’s surrounding districts using a non-partisan process.


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