Tag Archives: Derrick Max

Voters Will Decide Virginia’s Future Direction

by Derrick Max

In two weeks, the people of Virginia will decide on two competing visions for the future of Virginia. Will they elect a General Assembly favoring Governor Glenn Youngkin’s more freedom-oriented policy vision, or will they elect a General Assembly returning the Commonwealth to the statist policy vision of former governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam?

While much of the current debate in the Commonwealth has focused almost solely on abortion, the number of issues “on the ballot” in this election is much broader and ought to be more closely considered by voters. If readers want a deeper dive into these issues, links to the Thomas Jefferson Institute’s work in these areas are included.

Surpluses are on the ballot in Virginia.

Earlier this year, faced with an historic $5.1 billion surplus, Governor Youngkin and Democrats in the Virginia Senate reached a deal to cut $1.05 billion in taxes and allocate $3.7 billion in new, one-time spending. This $3 in new spending for every $1 in tax cuts is backward.

Budget officials in Virginia just reported that in the first quarter of this fiscal year, surpluses are continuing to be amassed in Richmond. Coupled with the official projections for spending and revenue for the next few years, the next General Assembly will almost certainly be faced with large cash surpluses. Continue reading

Virginia Hits Highest Labor Force Participation Rate in a Decade; Unemployment Decreases

(First published today by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.)

by Derrick A. Max

Work isn’t just about a paycheck. At its core, work is about freedom, accomplishment, respect, human dignity, and even companionship.  Work gives purpose and is essential to a thriving community, and thriving communities are essential to a thriving state. That is why it is not surprising to see Gov. Youngkin focus so intently on creating a job-friendly economy. In August of last year, the Governor announced and began implementing dramatic changes in the Commonwealth’s workforce development efforts. Friday’s employment numbers for May show that his efforts are paying off.

The May data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Virginia is one of only eleven states reporting lower unemployment last month and one of only seventeen states showing lower unemployment over the last twelve months. Equally as important, labor force participation rates went up — meaning people who had given up looking for work have re-entered the job market. This is the highest rate in almost a decade. Continue reading