Brief Cases

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MENHADEN REDUX, REDUX, ET AL

[See VoxFairfax, January 6, 2020; https://voxfairfax.com/2020/01/06/brief-cases-2/]

A company that makes fish-oil supplements will keep its certification for sustainable fishing despite violations of catch limits in the Chesapeake Bay. Last year, Omega Protein caught 30% more fish than was allowed under restrictions meant to protect and enhance the bay’s ecosystem. Yet an independent auditor for the council that bestows the certification–prominently displayed in stores and attesting that the company does not overfish–found that “the bay harvest cap is precautionary and not explicitly science-based; there is no firm evidence that Omega Protein impacted the species’ sustainability.” Parse that, menhaden lovers!

Yeah, so Omega missed its mark by only 30%, a mere guesstimate.

According to a Chesapeake Bay Foundation scientist, certification is “unfathomable” because it requires compliance with laws and standards. He went on, “this tells the public that a fishery can blatantly violate [the council’s] core principles and yet still remain certified.”

WORKERS URGE NORTHAM TO SIGN MINIMUM WAGE BILL; HE AMENDS IT INSTEAD

Workers are urging Gov. Ralph Northam to sign a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 at the start of next year. This was made clear in a recent virtual rally hosted by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis and strongly supported by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. The online rally, something of a first, was organized so workers could make their voices heard from home. “We need to be creative in these challenging times,” said the institute’s president, Michael Cassidy. “We can’t march in person but we can march online.”

Northam and state leaders anticipate the state’s economy will suffer a major hit from the coronavirus outbreak. The governor has said he will “make a decision in the best interest of Virginia and the best interest of our economy.” HB 395 would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 in 2021, $11 in 2022, and $12 in 2023.

The public policy choice for the Governor would seem to favor signing the bill, as the wage increases would not affect either hiring or the economy. This past weekend, however, Governor Northam amended the legislation, calling for an increase to $11/hour in 2022 and $12/hour in 2023. 

The General Assembly will reconvene on April 22, and lawmakers will reevaluate recently passed and amended legislation.



Categories: Brief Cases, Issues, labor and unions, Local, National, politics, State

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