Governor McAuliffe has announced a new $22.5 million investment in Petersburg by the UniTao Pharmaceutical Company that will create 376 new jobs once the plant is fully operational in 3 years. UniTao, who produce active pharmaceutical ingredients, will take over the existing Boeringger Ingelheim plant in Petersburg, where they hope to begin production in 12-24 months. B.I. had announced their closure and elimination of 240 jobs last year.
Articles by Craig Carper
Immigration was a central theme at the October 28 7th district congressional debate between Professors Dave Brat and Jack Trammell at Randolph Macon College. Brat opposes the Dream Act which grants legal permanent status to undocumented immigrant students. Trammell supports it but says there is more work to do.
Brat does not support comprehensive reform saying it would provide 10 million illegal U.S. residents a pathway to citizenship. Brat says the focus on immigration must be securing the U.S. Border, which he says is open to national security threats.
Republican Dave Brat and Democrat Jack Trammell held their final debate October 28 in Virginia’s 7th District congressional election, where they weighed in on whether Congress should raise the minimum wage. Trammel says raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would have a tremendous economic benefit. Brat says the way to grow wages is through increasing American’s productivity levels, not increasing them by mandate.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. For tipped employees it’s $2.13 per hour.
At their final debate last night at Randolph Macon College, Professors Dave Brat and Jack Trammell took very different positions on what should be done to fix the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Brat wants to repeal and replace Obamacare immediately. He says it’s raising insurance costs and lowering the quality of healthcare. Trammell says the ACA has met its major goals by expanding health coverage by 8-11 million people and lowered health care inflation to the lowest rate in the modern era.
Governor McAuliffe’s bipartisan ethics commission held its first meeting yesterday (10/27), beginning an accelerated meeting schedule in order to issue recommendations for the 2015 General Assembly Session by December 1st. The commission is considering changes to laws relating to gifts and loans to public officials, conflicts of interest, disclosures required of public officials and public employees, oversight and enforcement and post public service employment restrictions. Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling is the Commission’s Co-Chair.
Virginia’s top health officials say they will begin taking additional aggressive steps to contain potential Ebola outbreaks in the Commonwealth, but avoiding mandatory quarantines across the board. The State Department of health is implementing an active monitoring program for all passengers arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to determine their risk of developing Ebola and their current health status. All travelers will be asked to sign agreements to take and record their temperature at least twice a day.
At an Eyes on Richmond Forum at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Dan Mortensen, the Executive Director of the Virginia Council on Economic Education, spoke of the group’s efforts to teach K-12 teachers how to instruct young people about economics. Effective this year, all Virginia high school seniors must have a full year of economics and personal finance education in order to graduate. Many schools are teaching elements of economics to students at the elementary level.
Reynolds American Incorporated, the maker of Camel cigarettes is banning smoking in most parts of their offices and buildings. Reynolds, the nation’s second biggest tobacco company, says they are bringing their smoking policies in line with modern standards. Employees will be prohibited from smoking traditional cigarettes, cigars and pipes at their desks or in offices, conference rooms, hallways and elevators. The policy will take effect once construction of new indoor smoking areas is completed.
Several days into his Asian trade mission, speaking to reporters via conference call from Bejing, Governor Terry McAuliffe says he has 5 or 6 handshake deals with Asian companies to establish or expand operations in Virginia. McAuliffe says his trade contingent had many successful meetings in Japan highlighted by a new $32 million deal with automotive manufacturer Dynax Corporation to expand operations in Botetourt County that will create 75 new jobs.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) addressed a Public Square at the Richmond Times-Dispatch Tuesday (October 21) discussing how the U.S. should clarify the war powers of the President and Congress. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution says Congress will declare war. Article 2 establishes the President as the Commander in Chief. Senator Kaine says while the President has the authority to defend against an imminent attack when the country’s strategy goes from defense to offense, congressional authorization is required.