RICHMOND—Governor Northam vetoed House Bill 2611, which would prohibit the Commonwealth from entering into a regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from power plants unless authorized by two-thirds of the General Assembly. This measure violates the Virginia Constitution and would significantly undercut efforts to reduce air pollution and combat climate change. The Governor’s veto statement is below.
March 14, 2019
Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2611. This bill would prohibit the Governor, local governments, and a majority of those voting in the General Assembly from enacting or entering any regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from power plants unless explicitly authorized by a super-majority (two-thirds) vote of the General Assembly.
Climate change, extreme weather, and sea level rise endanger public safety, economic vitality and the natural and built environments. To address these challenges and protect the people of Virginia, the Commonwealth must be able to use all available tools to combat climate change.
These tools include the ability to adopt regulations, rules, and guidance that mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon pollution in the Commonwealth. In addition, allowing energy producers to comply with regulation through credit trading would lessen costs to producers and consumers while generating revenue that could be spent to make Virginia more resilient to extreme weather events, sea level rise, and flooding.
We should not be limited in our ability to protect the environment and in turn, the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Further, House Bill 2611 violates two provisions of the Virginia Constitution: Article III, Section 1 (Separation of Powers) and Article IV, Section 11 (Enactment of Laws).
Accordingly, I veto this bill.
Ralph S. Northam
Fairfax County teacher convicted of solicitation of a minor; jury recommends 7 years
HANOVER COUNTY (August 20, 2019) – Ryan Thomas Pick, 41, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was convicted yesterday by a Hanover County jury of two counts of Using a Communication System to Procure a Minor for an Unlawful Act and one count of Solicitation of a Minor Under the Age of 15, following a trial on the charges. The jury subsequently recommended that Pick serve a seven-year prison term for his offenses. Upon his release, Pick will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives or works. He will be formally sentenced on November 22, 2019. Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement following the trial and conviction, which was presided over by Hanover County Circuit Court Judge J. Overton Harris.
“Individuals who sexually solicit children are robbing them of their childhood and their innocence, and what is even more troubling is that this man worked with children on a daily basis,” said Attorney General Herring. “Because of the work my team and local law enforcement agencies put into this, another dangerous predator is out of our community. My office will continue to seek justice against those who would exploit and harm children like this.”
The investigation of this case began in July of 2018 when an undercover officer with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover chat investigation on the social networking site Omegle. While posing as a 12 year-old girl, the officer was connected with Pick, who chatted with the officer and made comments that were sexual in nature. During the conversation, Pick sent a video of himself to the officer engaging in sexually explicit conduct. He then made several statements about sex acts he wanted to engage in with the purported 12 year-old. An investigation revealed that Pick held several jobs including as a music teacher for Fairfax County public schools, the music director at his local church, a private music instructor, and a seasonal pizza delivery man. In August of 2018, officers executed a search warrant at Pick’s Fairfax County residence. During the execution, Pick admitted to using Omegle regularly and to chatting with the purported 12 year-old.
This case was investigated by the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Attorney General Herring’s Computer Forensic Unit provided digital forensic analysis of the evidence in support of the case. Assistant Attorney General Alexaundra Williams of Attorney General Herring’s Computer Crime Section prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam addresses Joint Money Committees of the General Assembly
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today (August 20, 2019) addressed a Joint Meeting of the Senate Finance, House Appropriations, and House Finance Committees where he discussed the state of the Commonwealth’s finances and the Virginia economy.
“Over the last year we have worked together to maintain Virginia’s triple-A bond rating, put more money in our reserves, and made smart investments in our long-term growth,” Governor Northam said. “But as the global economy changes, we must be both cautious and strategic. During the next budget cycle we will continue laying a strong foundation for Virginia—preparing for a rainy day while investing responsibility in our long-term growth.”
Virginia ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $797 million, with much of that money already obligated for items such as water quality and taxpayer relief. The Commonwealth put $344.4 million into our reserves, which will bring total reserve funding to $1.6 billion—the highest amount ever—by 2021.
Governor Northam highlighted another important milestone for economic development in Virginia, announcing that his administration has secured $20 billion in investment since taking office in January 2018—more than any previous administration has announced in a full four-year term. This economic development has created over 51,000 new jobs across the Commonwealth.
Here is the Governor’s full remarks:
Good morning, Chairman Norment, Chairman Hanger, Chairman Jones, Chairman Ware, Speaker Cox, Members of the General Assembly, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the privilege of speaking with you this morning.
I would like to recognize Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, First Lady Pam Northam, and members of my Cabinet.
I am here today to update you on the Commonwealth’s revenues for the just-ended fiscal year, as we look forward to our next budget cycle and the choices we will make to ensure Virginia remains a strong and diverse place to live and work.
We start out this new budget cycle in a good place, and we all can, and should, take credit for that. We have accomplished a great deal working together.
We have maintained our triple-A bond rating, put more money in our reserves for a rainy day, and made smart investments in Virginia’s long-term growth.
We approved dedicated transportation funding this year, which will make I-81 safer and more reliable while providing much-needed revenue for transportation projects in other parts of the state as well.
We worked together to attract new business to the state—notably Amazon, which is ahead of schedule in hiring, and has submitted its development plans for its National Landing campus. Virginia Tech will offer courses in their new Alexandria location next fall. I want to thank Delegate Rush for his work with Tech, and thank all of you for the bipartisan work that went into this project.
We took a huge step to reduce the criminalization of poverty by ending the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid court costs and fees. As I have traveled the state to bring awareness to this issue, people have told me how much this means to them.
We found agreement on how to pay for a long overdue rebuilding of Central State Hospital.
We gave our teachers the largest single-year pay raise in 15 years.
We found a bipartisan resolution to the environmental challenge of what to do with 27 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash lying in unlined ponds near our waterways.
And we have now enrolled more than 306,000 additional Virginians in Medicaid through the expansion of that program. These people can now access the kind of health care many of us take for granted, helping them lead more productive lives. They can get treatment for chronic conditions.
They can get preventive care to help head off health problems before they become serious. And they can access treatment for addiction or other behavioral health issues. This access is saving lives, and we made this happen together.
We did all of these things together, working across the aisle, and put our differences aside to serve the people of Virginia.
We have opportunities to continue this good work in the session, and budget, ahead.
But first, let me update you on the financial health of the Commonwealth for the budget year that recently ended.
By and large, our financial health is good. We ended the year with a surplus of $797.7 million. But, as is often the case, much of that surplus is already obligated, for items like water quality and taxpayer relief. We also are putting $344.4 million into reserves, which means by 2021, we’ll have $1.6 billion in our reserves—approximately seven percent of our general fund revenue, the highest amount we have ever put in reserves.
This is something we all should be proud of. Last year I mentioned that putting 8 percent of our revenues into reserves is a goal of our administration, and we’re on the path to do so.
We expect revenues to grow in the coming year. I want to thank all of the economists, business leaders, and General Assembly members who volunteer to help provide our consensus revenue forecast. This is important work, and I thank Secretary Layne for his steady guidance.
While our revenues are positive, we also must plan for mandatory expenditures.
For example, we are due to rebenchmark our Standards of Quality in the coming biennium.
This is critical to ensure that our schools, and school funding, keep pace with our students’ needs, so every child receives a quality education. But it comes with a price tag.
We also know that our Medicaid program is likely to be more costly next year, as healthcare costs across the board continue to rise. Our administration is keenly aware of the issue of rising health costs, and will continue to work with you on solutions.
We also continue the work to build up our community-based behavioral health services, which provide critical support to many Virginians and their families, and we know there are costs to that work.
Over the past few years, we have invested, and will continue to invest, in strengthening our community service boards and ensuring that the services they provide are the same across the state. I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Hughes Melton for his work at our Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
That work must and will continue. I ask that we have a moment of silence in memory of Dr. Melton and of Hailey Green, who lost their lives in a tragic accident.
As we go into this new budget cycle, we must be both cautious and strategic.
Our unemployment rate remains at 2.9 percent. Our employers continue to add jobs. But because we are close to full employment, our job growth has slowed.
And though we are in the 12th year of economic expansion, we know that can’t last forever.
Federal policies continue to affect us. For example, the trade war with China and its resulting tariffs have already led to drastic cutbacks on purchases of American agricultural products, which hurt our farmers in Virginia.
China used to be the number one destination for Virginia’s agricultural and forestry exports, such as soybeans. In 2016, we exported nearly $700 million in those products to China.
But because of the trade war, our agricultural exports to China have lost nearly two-thirds of their value, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue for Virginia farmers. Sales of soybeans are now just $235 million, and China has dropped to our number two agricultural trading partner.
Personally, we have soybeans growing on our family farm this year, and they may very well stay in the fields if we can’t sell them. The farmers I grew up with would much rather sell at a profit than rely on federal subsidies.
We live in a global economy these days, and that means what happens on a global scale also happens at the local level. As the national economy slows, Virginia’s economy is expected to slow as well.
We’re fortunate that Congress has resolved the issue of sequestration—for now.
But federal fiscal policy and the accumulation of significant federal debt—now over $22 trillion and growing—will continue to be a drag on consumers and the economy.
To best prepare the Commonwealth for the future, we must continue to protect our AAA bond rating, diversify our economy, and make strategic investments in our long-term success. We must ensure that Virginia has the strongest foundation possible.
In the 21st century, broadband is like electricity—it is a necessity of modern life.
The projects we have supported are bringing broadband connections to nearly 70,000 homes and businesses so far across the Commonwealth, and we will continue to work on this important issue.
I thank you all for the additional dollars we put into the Housing Trust Fund in the last budget. But we can, and must, do more for affordable housing.
We must continue our investment in education, from early childhood through higher education and skills training. Every Virginian deserves access to a high quality and affordable education.
Making sure that every child has access to opportunity means starting early.
Last month, I signed Executive Directive 4, establishing the Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness.
That team will work to ensure that all at-risk three and four year olds have access to quality, affordable early childhood education options. I want to thank the First Lady for her work and leadership on this issue.
There is an obvious overlap between investments in education and investments in our workforce.
My administration continues to work with our community colleges and the entire higher education system, to build bridges between education, skills training, and the high-demand jobs we need to fill and want to continue to attract.
We want Virginians to be able to get the skills they need for good jobs.
This fall, I’ll be having conversations about these workforce pathways in our communities, talking to our higher education partners, our businesses, and our local leaders to see what our communities need.
We want to make absolutely sure we continue to support our world-class workforce and educational systems—both of which helped make Virginia the best state in the nation in which to do business.
One of my proudest days as Governor was to be at Shenandoah River State Park for the announcement that CNBC had named the Commonwealth the best state for business.
Over the years, we have moved steadily from 13th, to 7th, to 4th, and we are now back to our rightful place at number one.
This is an achievement for every one of us, and it comes because we have all worked together.
My top priority as Governor is making sure that every Virginian—no matter who you are or where you live—is able to fully participate in our economic growth.
By diversifying our economy, investing in our workforce, and keeping a stable and open business climate, I am proud to report that my administration has secured extensive new investment and jobs across the Commonwealth.
That includes Premier Tech, in your district, Chairman Norment—20 jobs and almost $2 million of investment in King and Queen County.
It includes Merck in Chairman Hanger’s district—152 jobs and a billion dollars of investment in Rockingham County.
In an area of Suffolk represented by Chairman Jones, Target is investing $2.8 million to expand its distribution center, bringing 225 new jobs.
Volvo Trucks, in Delegate Rush’s district, plans to invest $400 million and create 777 new jobs in Pulaski.
In Senator Howell’s district, Appian invested $28 million to expand its headquarters to McLean, bringing 600 jobs. Senator Howell couldn’t be here today, but we wish her a speedy recovery.
In Chesapeake, in Delegate Hayes’ district, Cloverleaf Cold Storage invested $21 million to create 33 jobs.
In Senator Ruff’s district, in Dinwiddie, Richlands Creamery is investing $1.7 million and creating 17 new jobs.
And in Portsmouth, in Senator Lucas’ district, Preferred Freezer has invested $60 million to create 60 new jobs.
There are similar stories across the state. From a large company like Amazon, to a small-town Main Street shop with five employees, every business contributes to the fabric of Virginia.
Every dollar of investment, and every job created, means more Virginians can put a roof over their head, put food on their table, and sleep soundly at night knowing they are able to support themselves and their families.
That’s why I am thrilled to announce today that over the last 20 months, we have secured 378 new economic development projects that will bring over $20.3 billion in investment.
This is a record. The $20 billion of investment is more than any previous administration has announced in a full four-year term, and we have achieved this significant milestone in less than half that time.
I am proud of what this means for Virginia, and I am equally proud that $2.7 billion of this investment is in distressed communities around the Commonwealth that have often been overlooked by these types of investments.
These economic development projects will create more than 51,000 new jobs, including over 8,700 in distressed communities.
We couldn’t do this without our local, legislative, and state economic development partners.
I want to particularly thank Secretary Brian Ball and his Commerce and Trade team, as well as Stephen Moret and his team at VEDP, for their efforts to promote the Commonwealth and its communities as ideal locations for business.
And I want to thank all of you. We have done strong work to attract business and jobs, and ensure that we have a diverse economy that is strong enough to weather headwinds. As I travel the Commonwealth, businesses are excited about locating or expanding in Virginia.
We also must continue to do the work needed to make Virginia a more welcoming and inclusive place, ensuring that a person’s race, income level, or place of birth doesn’t keep them from accessing a world-class education, quality health care, or business opportunities.
I have spent the past several months traveling the Commonwealth listening to leaders and everyday Virginians share the daily inequities they face.
As we prepare this budget, I will prioritize initiatives that level the playing field for small-, women-, and minority-owned businesses, reduce the unacceptable racial disparity in Virginia’s maternal mortality rate, and ensure equal access to a world-class education.
Ensuring that Virginia is a welcoming place to live also means continuing to work to make sure this is a safe place.
As we meet here this morning, the Virginia Crime Commission has also been meeting to take up gun safety legislation that we have proposed for years, and introduced again for the special session I called earlier this summer, after the tragic mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
Universal background checks, extreme risk protective orders, one gun a month laws, and tougher penalties for people who leave loaded guns around children, are a few of the commonsense proposals that we have made.
I know where many of you stand on these issues. But I also know that we have an opportunity to come together to save lives. I hope we will seize that opportunity.
As we look to this next budget, we’re seeing larger requests for security funding, for state buildings and from outside groups. Already, for fiscal year 2020, we doubled the money in our School Security Equipment Fund. And we’ve had 133 state employees spend 4 hours each in active shooter training since July 1.
Those are resources we’d rather spend on other priorities, but our refusal to address gun violence requires us to instead prioritize self-protection.
We have made good choices together that led CNBC to award us that number one ranking.
And we have made good choices together, to invest in our infrastructure and our educational systems.
We can continue to make good choices.
From economic development to our spending priorities, we have seen that when we work together, we can build a better Virginia. When we invest in our people and our places, our roads, and the education and training people need to get good jobs, we thrive.
No matter what happens in the coming months and years, we are laying a strong foundation for Virginia to weather stormy days and prosper on sunny ones. I look forward to continuing to build upon that foundation in the upcoming session.
13 Virginians among those honored in 2019 No Kid Hungry Summer Hero Hall of Fame
Richmond, VA – A total of 13 individuals and organizations across Virginia have been named to the 2019 No Kid Hungry Summer Hero Hall of Fame, a national honor that recognizes and celebrates those who go above and beyond to find innovative ways to ensure children get the food and nutrition they need during the summer months.
This year’s Virginia inductees include the coordinator of outdoor barbecues at 18 school-based meal sites, a public library manager who has enlisted community partners to create fun and educational events around meal programs and the originator of a weekend backpack meal program that has tripled the number of students it serves over the past three years.
“This roster of Hall of Fame inductees not only showcases the incredible commitment that exists throughout the Commonwealth to help feed children experiencing hunger, but also the deep wells of creativity and energy to make it all possible,” said Claire Mansfield, director of No Kid Hungry Virginia. “Our congratulations to these deserving recipients whom I know will continue to make big contributions to the well-being of so many children in Virginia.”
Among the 20 states recognized in this year’s Summer Hero Hall of Fame, Virginia had the most honorees, who are the following:
- Morgan McGhee, MPH RD, Food Operations Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools
- Jennifer Brown, MSLIS, Ph.D., Youth and Family Services Manager, Suffolk Public Library
- Jacquelyn Linder, Nutrition Programs Director, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank
- Kathy Jenkins, Page County Public Schools
- Katherine Humenik, Stacey Fox and Carrie Lohr, Warren County Public Schools
- Araceli Donahue, Fredericksburg City Public Schools
- Stefanie Dove, MBA RDN SNS, Coordinator of Marketing and Outreach for School Nutrition, Loudoun County Public Schools
- Cheryl Perkins, Taylor Education Administration Center
- Danville Public Schools Child Nutrition Staff
- Mary Poe, Assistant Director, Buena Vista Summer Feeding Program, Buena Vista Public Schools
- Becky Brown, School Nutrition Director, Buena Vista Public Schools
- Jane Fisher, Jenny Riffe & Daniela Brunner, Bobcat Backpacks Program, Radford City Public Schools
- Greg Holmes, School Nutrition Specialist, Loudon County Public Schools
One in seven children in Virginia live in families that struggle with hunger. Research shows that hunger has long-term ramifications on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases.
Summer can be the hungriest time of year for many children from low-income families. In fact, only about 15 percent of Virginia students who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals through summer programs. When schools close, students no longer get school meals, and families struggle to put food on the table. Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn and general well-being. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on connecting kids to the national Summer Meals Program as a critical way to end childhood hunger.
Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.
About Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign
No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
Governor Northam sends letter to members of the Virginia State Crime Commission
RICHMOND—Today, (August 19, 2019) Governor Ralph Northam sent a letter to members of the Virginia State Crime Commission in advance of their hearing on legislation introduced during the 2019 Special Session.
Governor Northam called the Special Session in June to address the emergency of gun violence in the Commonwealth; legislators voted to adjourn after 90 minutes and refer all legislation to the Crime Commission for further study.
August 19, 2019
Virginia State Crime Commission
1111 East Broad Street, Ste. B036
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Dear Members of the Crime Commission:
On June 4, five days after a horrific mass shooting took twelve innocent lives and injured four more in Virginia Beach, I called a Special Session of the General Assembly to address the emergency of gun violence in our Commonwealth. I called this session because we in Virginia are all too familiar with the horror of mass shootings—I never want another governor to have to mourn with the families of innocent people killed at their workplace or their school. But we also know it is more than just mass shootings; the daily toll of gun violence in our communities kills more than 1,000 Virginians each year. That’s an average of three people killed by guns every single day.
Virginians deserve action—and that is what I asked for when the General Assembly convened on July 9. Instead, legislators chose to adjourn ninety minutes after convening without hearing or debating a single bill, referring everything to the Crime Commission for further study. In the weeks and days since, we have watched as gun violence continues to upend communities across our Commonwealth and nation.
The legislative package I put forward during the Special Session included commonsense proposals that will undoubtedly save lives. In fact, they are so common sense that even the President of the United States and other Republican leaders recently announced their support for some of these proposals, including background checks and an Extreme Risk Protective Order. While I reject the assertion that these bills need further study, I am confident that the presentations you all will hear on August 19 and 20 will only underscore the importance of implementing these measures.
Data show these measures are not only common sense and bipartisan—they are effective. An Extreme Risk Protective Order, now adopted in 17 states and Washington, D.C., has been shown to significantly reduce suicide deaths by firearms. Virginia’s One Handgun a Month law dramatically reduced the number of crime guns from Virginia recovered in the Northeast, a total drop of 54 percent. Since the repeal of this law in 2012, Virginia has returned to being the top source state for crime guns recovered in D.C., Maryland, New York, and West Virginia. And we know that background checks work: In 2018, nearly 2,000 prohibited persons were prevented from purchasing firearms from a federally licensed dealer in Virginia. Many more prohibited persons continue to purchase guns—without background checks—each and every day through private sales.
These proposals do not need further study. In fact, some of these measures were first recommended after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. The Virginia Tech report called for changes to higher education and mental health policies; importantly, the report also urged lawmakers to take direct action on gun violence through expanded background checks. While many of the mental health recommendations were embraced and adopted by the General Assembly, lawmakers ignored recommendations on gun violence. The assertion that more study is needed—twelve years and over 70 mass shootings after Virginia Tech—is inaccurate and inexcusable.
Furthermore, it is wrong to continue perpetuating the false idea that mental illness is solely to blame for gun violence. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that people experiencing mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. I refuse to allow many politicians and the gun lobby to scapegoat some of our most vulnerable citizens as an excuse for their inaction.
As you continue your work on this important issue, I hope each of you will join me in rejecting baseless claims, stereotypes, and excuses. Commonsense gun safety legislation has already saved lives, where implemented. It is past time to save lives in Virginia.
Ralph S. Northam
Governor of Virginia
Governor Northam announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate unchanged at 2.9%
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in July at 2.9 percent, which equals the rate from a year ago. In July, the labor force expanded for the thirteenth consecutive month by 12,345, or 0.1 percent to set a new record high of 4,389,783, as the number of unemployed decreased by 1,767. Household employment increased by 14,112 to set a new high of 4,263,623. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate, which was unchanged at 3.7 percent.
“I am proud that we have been able to expand and diversify Virginia’s economy and make targeted investments that strengthen our public education, infrastructure, and workforce development systems,” said Governor Northam. “While I am pleased to see these efforts reflected in our low unemployment rate and growing labor force, we know that there is still work to be done to ensure that every hardworking Virginian has access to economic opportunity, no matter who they are or where they are from. My administration will stay focused on connecting job seekers with the skills and training that employers are looking for, helping Virginia businesses grow and compete, and recruiting private sector investment to every corner of the Commonwealth.”
Virginia has the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states. Virginia has the third best rate among the states east of the Mississippi along with Massachusetts. Virginia is ranked fifth in the nation for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate along with Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, and South Dakota.
“This administration is working tirelessly to create quality jobs in every part of the Commonwealth, and an unemployment rate at 2.9 percent is a signal that our efforts are working,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are optimistic that we will have more positive economic development announcements in the near future.”
Over-the-year employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 64 consecutive months. For July, Virginia’s over-the-year growth of 0.6 percent was less than the national rate. Nationally, over-the-year growth was relatively unchanged in July at 1.5 percent.
“The low unemployment rate is evidence our growing economy is creating good jobs in communities across the Commonwealth,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “Even as we celebrate this success, we remain committed to ensuring every worker has the skills and resources they need to take advantage of these opportunities.”
In July, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 29,600 jobs, while employment in the public sector decreased by 6,600 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while the other three experienced employment losses.
For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at www.vec.virginia.gov.
Spotsylvania County Schools phishing scam investigation
As a result of extensive investigative efforts, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office has been able to reclaim more than half of the money lost in a complex phishing scam targeting the Spotsylvania County Public School system.
On Thursday (Aug. 15) state police will be handing over checks to the Spotsylvania County Treasurer’s Office totaling $347,010.39. Additional checks will be forthcoming next week.
State police began the cyber investigation Aug. 1, 2019, and has been working with local and state law enforcement in other states in order to track down the fraudulent deposits made into accounts at multiple banks. State police are still pursuing the case and several individuals associated with the scam. No charges or arrests have been made at this stage of the ongoing investigation.
State police is also investigating two other potential cyber phishing scams involving county employees, but there is no evidence to suggest any of the three incidents is connected. Those investigations are ongoing, as well.