RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that more than 50,000 military veterans have been hired in Virginia’s civilian workforce through the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program since its inception in 2012. Virginia was the first state in the nation to create an official program dedicated to improving the employment of military veterans and helping employers develop and implement strategies and best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans.
“Reaching this significant milestone of veterans hired reflects our shared commitment of making Virginia the most military-friendly state in the nation and honoring our veterans by helping them make successful transitions from military service to employment in the civilian workforce,” said Governor Northam. “Our Commonwealth is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, with nearly one in 10 Virginians having worn a uniform. The success of the V3 Program demonstrates the tremendous good we can deliver for our returning service members and our economy when the public and private sectors work together, connecting our veterans with Virginia business that can benefit from the unique experience, talents, and training they gain while serving our country.”
The Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program is an official program of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), whose mission is to educate and train employers throughout the Commonwealth on the value of Virginia’s veterans, and to help employers connect with these personnel to maximize the productivity of their workforce. More than 900 private businesses, federal, state and local government agencies, and educational institutions across the Commonwealth are V3 partner employers that have shown a commitment to hiring veterans as they leave active military duty.
“Reaching the milestone of more than 50,000 veterans hired is an achievement for which all Virginians can be proud,” said Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins. “The continued success of the V3 Program is a result of many partners committed to its mission—from our Governors, state legislators, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, small and large private businesses, colleges, local governments, and many others. All agree that hiring Virginia veterans makes good business sense.”
Launched as a pilot program in 2012, the General Assembly voted unanimously in 2013 to make V3 permanent, and hiring expanded under Governor Terry McAuliffe with more than 30,000 veterans hired by the time he left office in January 2018. Governor Northam has challenged V3 partners to increase the total to 65,000 hires by the time he leaves office in 2022.
“It takes vision, hard work and an unwavering commitment to continue to meet and exceed the veteran hiring goals set by our Governors,” said Deputy DVS Commissioner Annie Walker. “I want to commend Director Charlie Palumbo, V3 Program Manager Ross Koenig, the V3 Regional Managers and the entire V3 team for a job well done. I am confident that DVS and this team will meet Governor Northam’s goal of 65,000 veterans hired by the end of his term.”
For more information on the Virginia Values Veterans program including a list of participating partner employers, please visit www.dvsV3.com.
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans. Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education, and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s and memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.
Governor Northam announces launch of 2020 Governor’s Fellows Program
~ Deadline to apply is Monday, March 9 ~
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that applications for the 2020 Governor’s Fellows Program will be accepted through Monday, March 9, and invited students attending Virginia colleges and universities to apply. Since 1982, the Governor’s Fellows Program has offered participants firsthand state government experience at the highest level of Virginia’s executive branch.
Fellows are placed with a member of the Governor’s Cabinet or with a member of his personal staff, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the work and decision-making in the Office of the Governor. Governor’s Fellows also hear from special guest speakers from the Northam Administration and participate in site visits to state government agencies.
“The Governor’s Fellows Program is designed to give young Virginians a front row view of the inner workings of state government, helping them develop a deeper understanding of the issues that are important to our state and the policies that will shape the future of our Commonwealth.”
“The Governor’s Fellows Program was an unforgettable experience, and was instrumental in preparing me for my career in public service,” said Norman Ellis III, Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and 2019 Governor’s Fellow. “I was given a considerable amount of substantive tasks that not only supported the work of the Commerce and Trade secretariat, but also significantly added to my own professional growth and development. Having the opportunity to engage in intimate conversations with elected and appointed officials, to work with a similarly dedicated group of fellows, and to serve the Commonwealth is an experience you simply cannot get anywhere else in Virginia.”
Qualified applicants must be rising college seniors, graduating seniors, or graduate students. All Virginia college and university students are eligible to apply, regardless of state of residence. Virginia residents who attend out-of-state colleges and universities are also eligible. Both public and private college and university students are encouraged to apply.
The selection of Fellows is based solely on merit. The Governor’s Fellows Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status.
The deadline to apply for the Governor’s Fellows Program is Monday, March 9, 2020. The program directors will hold interviews between March 16, 2020 and April 3, 2020 and will advise on decisions by April 10, 2020. The program runs from Monday, June 1, 2020 to Friday, July 31, 2020.
To apply, visit the Governor’s Fellows Program website and send the required recommendation letters and transcripts to the address below:
Governor’s Fellows Program
Post Office Box 2454
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Please email any questions to email@example.com.
Richmond Circuit Court upholds Executive Order Forty-Nine
RICHMOND—The Richmond Circuit Court today upheld Governor Ralph Northam’s decision, outlined in Executive Order Forty-Nine, to temporarily ban firearms on Capitol grounds from 5:00 PM on Friday, January 17, 2020 until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Governor said that law enforcement intelligence analysts had identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.
Governor Northam issued the following statement:
This is the right decision. I took this action to protect Virginians from credible threats of violence. These threats are real—as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested this morning after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms.
I’m grateful to the Circuit Court for recognizing the seriousness of these threats, and for upholding this reasonable, legal action to protect all Virginians, including demonstrators and policymakers. I will continue to do everything in my power to keep Virginians safe.
Governor Northam declares State of Emergency in advance of Capitol Square demonstration
On January 15th, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in advance of expected demonstrations on Capitol Square on Monday, January 20, 2020. According to the Governor, law enforcement intelligence analysts have identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.
The Governor’s declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, and will provide joint law enforcement and public safety agencies the resources they need to keep demonstrators, policymakers, and all Virginians safe.
This emergency declaration is temporary, and extends from Friday, January 17 at 5:00 PM until Tuesday, January 21 at 5:00 PM.
Watch the Governors comments:
Attorney General Herring says he’ll continue to fight to protect student borrowers
~ Herring joins coalition of attorneys general in commending Congressional effort to reject the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense Rule that would hurt students ~
RICHMOND (January 14, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of states in supporting Congressional efforts to reject a final rule by the U.S. Department of Education that fails to protect students and taxpayers from the misconduct of unscrupulous schools. In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues commended efforts to reject the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense Rule. Previously, Attorney General Herring won a victory in federal court after he challenged the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to abruptly rescind the 2016 Borrower Defense Rule.
“Time and again the Trump Administration has shown that it favors protecting for-profit colleges over protecting student borrowers,” said Attorney General Herring. “This new Borrower Defense Rule will hurt student borrowers and leave them without options to discharge their loans if they have been defrauded by one of these for-profit schools. I will continue to fight to make sure that for-profit colleges are held accountable and student borrowers are afforded the protections they deserve.”
According to the letter, the final rule provides no realistic prospect for borrowers to discharge their loans when they have been defrauded by predatory for-profit schools, and it eliminates financial responsibility requirements for those same institutions.
“If this rule goes into effect, the result will be disastrous for students while providing a windfall to abusive schools,” the letter states.
The U.S. Department of Education’s new rule would rescind and replace its comprehensive 2016 Borrower Defense Rule, which involved a thorough rulemaking process addressing borrower defense and financial responsibility, in which the views of numerous schools, stakeholders, and public commenters were involved. The 2016 Borrower Defense Rule provided defrauded borrowers with a transparent process to seek debt relief and protected taxpayers by holding schools that engage in misconduct accountable.
According to the letter, the Department’s new rule provides an unworkable process for defrauded students to obtain loan relief and will do nothing to deter and hold accountable schools that cheat their students. Instead of ensuring that borrowers are not bearing the costs of institutional misconduct, the Department’s new rule empowers predatory for-profit schools and cuts off relief to victimized students.
In October 2018, Attorney General Herring announced that a federal judge rejected the Trump Administration’s challenge to the Borrower Defense Rule, ordering its immediate implementation for students nationwide. This ruling followed a victory Attorney General Herring won in federal court after he and a coalition of state attorneys general challenged the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to abruptly rescind its Borrower Defense Rule which was designed to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers out of billions of dollars in federal loans. The immediate implementation of the Borrower Defense rule meant that the U.S. Department of Education had to automatically discharge $381 million in loans for students whose schools closed.
Attorney General Herring has taken major actions against for-profit colleges for misleading students. In November 2015, for-profit education company Education Management Corporation announced it would significantly reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgive more than $2.29 million in loans for approximately 2,000 former students in Virginia through an agreement with the Attorney General and a group of state attorneys general. Nationwide, the agreement required the for-profit college company to forgive $102.8 million in outstanding loan debt held by more than 80,000 former students.
In December 2016, the Attorney General announced that more than 5,000 Virginia students formerly enrolled in schools operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. may be eligible for loan forgiveness. This came after the U.S Department of Education found that Corinthian College and its subsidiaries published misleading job placement rates for many programs between 2010 and 2014. Following this announcement, Attorney General Herring urged Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to follow through on their commitment to cancel student debt for students in Virginia and around the country who were victimized by Corinthian Colleges’ practices.
Attorney General Herring announced in January of 2019 that he and 48 other attorneys general reached a settlement with for-profit education company Career Education Corporation. The terms of the settlement required CED to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgo collecting about $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally. In Virginia, 3,094 students will receive relief totaling $8,022,178.
Joining Attorney General Herring in sending today’s letter are the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
December 2019 General Fund revenue collections up 7.6% from previous year, fiscal-year-to-date collections up 8.3%
On January 13th, Governor Ralph Northam announced that total general fund revenues rose 7.6 percent in December, driven by solid growth in payroll withholding, sales and use taxes, and recordation tax collections. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 8.3 percent through December, well ahead of the annual forecast of 1.9 percent growth.
“This continued strong revenue performance gives us confidence that we can achieve the forward-looking agenda I have laid out, while also putting money into our cash reserves,” said Governor Northam. “As the General Assembly session gets underway in Richmond, we have a unique opportunity to invest in our shared future, grow and diversify our economic base, and continue building on our progress.”
Collections of payroll withholding taxes rose 9.2 percent in December, with an additional deposit day compared with last year. Collections of sales and use taxes, reflecting November sales, rose 5.1 percent in December. November represents the beginning of the holiday shopping season and this year had fewer shopping days after Thanksgiving than last year.
“A clearer assessment of the season will be possible after receiving December sales tax payments due in January,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne. “January non-withholding payments will also give us a better indication of taxpayer behavior for calendar 2019 tax returns.”
Collections of wills, suits, deeds, and contracts—mainly recordation tax collections—were $40.4 million in December, compared with $32.0 million in December of last year.
December is a significant month for corporate income tax collections as quarterly estimated payments are due for most corporations and refunds from extension returns are processed. With the main refunding season completed and the first two estimated payments received, collections of corporate income taxes grew 19.2 percent on a year-to-date basis, compared with the forecast of 2.2 percent growth.
Fiscal-year-to-date, payroll withholding collections have grown 5.8 percent, well ahead of the annual estimate of 4.7 percent growth. Collections of sales and use taxes have risen 8.1 percent, ahead of the annual estimate of 6.0 percent growth and recordation tax collections are up 29.0 percent, far ahead of the annual forecast of 13.2 percent growth. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 8.3 percent through December, well ahead of the annual forecast of 1.9 percent growth.
Absentee voting for March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary starts this week
Registered voters may now request an absentee ballot for the March 3, 2020, Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary be mailed to them by going online to www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal or find the form to fill out and mail to their local voter registration office at www.elections.virginia.gov/forms.
Virginia Republicans will choose delegates to their national convention at a state convention. Therefore, no Republican candidates will appear on the ballot in the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary.
A list of the 20 acceptable reasons a voter can give to vote absentee in Virginia is available at www.elections.virginia.gov/absentee.
In-person absentee voting will begin on Thursday January 16, Friday January 17, or Saturday January 18, 2020, depending on office hours and observation of state holidays. If a voter is unsure when in-person absentee voting starts in their locality, they should contact their local voter registration office. They can find information about their local office at www.elections.virginia.gov/vro.
Other important absentee ballot dates to remember if voting in the March 3, 2020, Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary, include:
- The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is at 5pm on Tuesday February 25, 2020.
- The deadline to vote absentee in-person is on Saturday February 29, 2020.
- The deadline for returning your ballot by mail is on Election Day, Tuesday March 3, 2020.
Virginia voters casting an absentee ballot either in-person or on Election Day must show an acceptable photo ID. Voters can get a free Voter Photo ID at their local voter registration office. Voters who do not have an acceptable form of ID may still vote absentee in-person after completing the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application and receiving a Temporary Identification Document from their voter registration office. Find out more about Virginia’s voter ID requirements at www.elections.virginia.gov/voterid.
The last day to register to vote or update voter registration information in order to vote in the March election is Monday February 10, 2020. More information on voter registration can be found online at www.elections.virginia.gov/registration.
For more information on the March 3, 2020, Virginia Democratic Presidential Primary or other election-related inquiries, go to vote.virginia.gov, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Virginia Department of Elections at (800) 552-9745.