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2019-7-22

McEachin Votes in Support of the Raise the Wage Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) voted for House passage of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, legislation he cosponsored to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in 10 years. The bill will gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over a six-year period. Additionally, the act would phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. To keep up with inflation, the Raise the Wage Act indexes future minimum wage increases to median hourly wage growth.

"Establishing a livable wage is a positive step forward for economic justice in this country,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “No American should be struggling to live about the poverty line while working full-time. Since coming to Congress, I have consistently advocated for raising the minimum wage, and this legislation will help address inequality and ease financial burdens on hardworking individuals in Virginia and across our country. I will continue to fight for fairer wages for all Americans.”

  • The Raise the Wage Act could increase wages for more than 30 million American workers, according to independent economic analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Even the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) more cautious estimate of a similar proposal indicated as many as 27 million workers could see a wage increase.
  • The Raise the Wage Act could lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children, according to the CBO’s recent report.
  • The Raise the Wage Act also helps secure equality and fairness for women by giving an estimated 23 million working women a raise and helping narrow the gender wage gap that disproportionately impacts women of color.

The federal minimum wage was last raised a decade ago. Since then, workers have struggled keep up with the increasing costs of housing, healthcare, and education while the minimum wage has remained stagnant. The Raise the Wage Act accounts for changing market prices to give more Americans access to baseline financial stability. It is time to ensure that all Americans who work 40 hours a week are able to live above the poverty line.

DURING EXTREME HEAT, AG HERRING REMINDS VIRGINIANS TO ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS

~ Leaving a child or pet exposed to extreme heat, whether in a car or outside without adequate shelter, can lead to criminal charges ~

RICHMOND (July 19, 2019)—As Virginia continues to deal with extreme heat, Attorney General Mark R. Herring and his first-in-the-nation Animal Law Unit are reminding Virginians that heat can be deadly to children and animals, and that there can be serious legal consequences for leaving children or animals in hot cars or outside without adequate shelter and water.
 
“The extreme temperatures in Virginia continue to pose a real threat to health and safety, especially for young children or animals left in vehicles or outside without adequate precautions and shelter,” said Attorney General Herring. “The law requires owners to protect their pets from the elements and gives law enforcement tools to ensure the safety and health of an animal, including the ability to break into cars or seize an animal to ensure its safety. As we all try to deal with this oppressive heat, I encourage all Virginians to check on and take care of yourself, your friends, neighborhoods, and family members, and don’t forget about your animals.”
 
A parent or caretaker who leaves a child in a hot vehicle could face criminal charges, especially if the child is injured or killed. Leaving an animal trapped in a car or exposed to the elements with no shelter or inadequate shelter can be considered animal cruelty, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
 
Attorney General Herring and his Animal Law Unit advise animal control officers to ask owners to bring animals inside or into shelter, ask the owner to surrender the animal if they are unable to provide adequate shelter, or in certain circumstances take temporary custody of an animal to ensure its safety.
 
In 2015, Attorney General Herring created the nation’s first OAG Animal Law Unit to serve as a training and prosecution resource for state agencies, investigators, and Commonwealth’s Attorneys around the state dealing with matters involving animal fighting, cruelty, and welfare. Illegal animal fighting is closely tied to illegal gambling, drug and alcohol crimes, and violence against animals has been shown to be linked to violence towards other people. To date the unit has handled hundreds of matters, including trainings, prosecutions, and consultations.
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