Youngkin passes 100 bills; vetoes marijuana sales and raising minimum wage

Governor Glenn Youngkin acted on 107 bills yesterday regarding a variety of topics.

Of the 100 passed, they included increasing law enforcement’s ability to prosecute child predators, expanding inmate access to health services, and raising the age for Jury Duty exemption from 70 to 73.

7 bills were vetoed including raising the minimum wage and the retail sale of marijuana.

In Youngkin’s veto statement, he claimed that legalizing the sale of marijuana would increase gang and violent crime, and have a negative effect on youth.

Virginia became the first southern state to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2021.

The minimum wage proposal would have increased the current $12 rate incrementally to $13.50 in 2025 then $15 by 2026.

A full list of the 100 bills passed is available here.

Veto statements for the 7 others are available here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces housing funds for Winchester

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced over $129 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 78 projects across Virginia.

The funding will create and preserve over 5,000 units for low and extremely low income households.

Loans were awarded through a competitive process that included 87 applications requesting over $149 million.

The City of Winchester will receive $1.4 million to support Phase I of ZeroPak Development.

The former apple processing and storage facility on N. Cameron Street will be revitalized to create 122 apartments in the vacant building which has stood for over 120 years.

In the announcement, Gov. Youngkin said, “Ensuring accessible and affordable housing for Virginians isn’t just a basic requirement, it’s a strategic pillar for our state’s continued success.”

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

WCS Logistics invest $27 million for expansion

Used by permission Frederick County Virginia Government

Winchester Cold Storage (WCS) Logistics and Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the expansion of its facility.

WCS Logistics will invest $27 million to expand in Frederick County Virginia.

The plans are to build a new 83,000 square foot cold storage facility with a 13,000-pallet capacity to meet increased demand for services.

The expansion is also expected to create at least 15 new positions.

The facilities Chief Operating Officer Peter Yates remarked that it is the second expansion effort in 5 years.

This expansion offers services to others to assist with their third-party logistical needs according to Yates.

WCS Logistics has offered storage options like freezer, climate control, dry storage, office space and other services to Frederick County and beyond since 1917.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Gov. Youngkin announces expansion of TTM Technologies Inc.

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that TTM Technologies Inc. will invest $13.4 million to expand in Loudoun County.

TTM Technologies is a global technology solutions manufacturer.

TTM stands for Time-To-Market with the manufacturer offering mission systems, RF components, RF microwaves, and microelectronics assemblies among other components.

The company is consolidating and modernizing its US Facilities to maximize current and future growth in Loudoun County.

The expansion looks to create at least 43 new jobs for the Loudoun County and surrounding areas.

The facility is expanding its current Sterling facility with this latest investment.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

CoStar Group relocates headquarters to Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced on Tuesday that CoStar Group, a leader in online real estate marketplaces, information, and analytics for commercial and residential properties, will relocate their global headquarters from Washington D.C. across the river to Rosslyn.

The company will invest $20 million to move to the 560,000 sq ft Central Palace Tower late in 2024.

The new headquarters will relocate 500 jobs and create 150 new jobs in the Commonwealth.

CoStar previously invested in the state in 2016 when the Group established headquarters in Richmond with 1,000 employees and in 2021 when they announced their plans to build a 750,000 sq ft campus which would create an additional 2,000 jobs.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington Economic Development to secure the project.

Governor Youngkin approved a $1.25 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and additional $2.5 million Virginia Economic Development Grant to secure the project.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $12 million in funding to fight homelessness

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $12 million in funding for 55 projects across the Commonwealth to fight homelessness.

The Virginia Trust Fund Homeless Reduction Grants will utilize the funds to advance their current targeted efforts to reduce homelessness.

The grants represent 20% of funding for the fiscal year.

The remaining funds support new or rehabilitated housing units through the Affordable and Special Needs Housing Program.

The Homeless Reduction Grant is coordinated with other community-based activities, and grantees use a local entry system to ensure the best approach for helping households experiencing homelessness quickly regain stable, permanent housing.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said, “Housing stands as the cornerstone for fostering lively communities and robust local economies. This funding round prioritizes innovative approaches, like rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing, to effectively combat homelessness, ensuring that every at-risk Virginian receives the support they need to make homeless(ness) rare, brief and one-time.”

To read the Governor’s announcement and all 55 projects, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $500 million in conservation funding

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced over $500 million in conservation funding on Friday.

This will be used to address water quality, flooding, land preservation, habitat restoration and more.

Over $250 million will be dedicated specifically for water quality and infrastructure related projects.

In the announcement, he highlights that while coastal communities are the most at risk, flooding affects the entire Commonwealth.

Some of the key initiatives include:

  • over $200 million for Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) implementation to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay
  • $100 million to focus on larger community scale flooding projects
  • $8.2 million in critical operations and staffing funds for conservation and state park operations
  • $5 million to the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund

A full list of the projects funded is available here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $300 million to support Virginians with developmental disabilities

Governor Glenn Youngkin made an announcement yesterday that an additional $300 million over the next two years will fund waiver slots for every Virginian with a developmental disability on a priority one waiting list.

3,400 Virginians are currently on the waiting list for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Developmental Disability waiver slots.

Individuals on the priority one list urgently need services and support offered by the waiver in a year or less.

Waivers can cover services like:

  • medical care
  • employment support
  • assistance for community living
  • behavioral interventions
  • assistive technology
  • medical goods

Governor Yougnkin’s Right Help, Right Now plan has increased the waiver slots and reduced the waiting list including 500 slots signed into the budget earlier this year.

An additional 600 slots were approved for the 2024 budget by the General Assembly.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $90 million in funding to launch “Virginia Research Triangle”

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Virginia will invest $90 million to launch the “Virginia Research Triangle.”

The one time funding will be split between the University of Virginia’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute.

The colleges will work together through the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority to collaborate on commercialization and startup support.

The Authority will bring the colleges together to sign a memorandum of understanding between the parties.

Once this is completed, the funds will be dispersed with $50 million to UVA, $27 million to VT, and $13 million for VCU.

Governor Youngkin said, “Through this state commitment and private philanthropy, we are building Virginia’s research triangle and network, supporting our higher education institutions’ research endeavors, and expanding Virginia’s university research capacity that will enhance life-saving research development for generations to come.”

To view the full announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

State of emergency and price gouging protections triggered by wildfires

Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires in Madison and Patrick Counties.

The state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize additional resources in response and recovery efforts as the fire has become more challenging due to the drought conditions.

The declaration then triggered Virginia’s price gouging protections which are designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during a thirty day period following a state of emergency.

Violations of the act are enforceable by the Attorney General’s office and should be reported for investigation.

The basic test for determining price gouging is if the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price 10 days prior.

Some of the items included are water, ice, food, generators, home repair materials, and tree removal services.

Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint by:

  • Phone at (800)-552-9963
  • Email: consmuer@oag.state.va.us
  • Online Complaint Form, available here

For more information on price gouging, click here.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.