Clockwise (from top left):
“Virginia officials say all voters can cast ballots by mail for May municipal elections”-Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury
“Congress clears 2nd major coronavirus package; 3rd in the works”-Allison Stevens, Virginia Mercury
“Governor faces calls for special session, ‘bolder and swifter action’ on COVID-19”-Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury
“Unemployment Claims in Virginia spiked 1,500% this week”-Ned Oliver, Virginia Mercury
The Virginia Department of Elections says voters will be allowed and encouraged to cast ballots by mail in May’s municipal elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State law requires voters to have a excuse in order to cast an absentee ballot, but officials have determined that the coronavirus outbreak qualifies as a valid reason for everyone. The elections department says voters are “strongly encouraged” to request an absentee ballot under the disability or illness exemption.
A second major coronavirus package cleared the U.S. Senate Wednesday and was signed by President Donald Trump.
The bill passed 90-8, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The multi-billion dollar measure aims to slow the spread of a new coronavirus and stimulate the economy as a major recession looms.
After adjourning a historic legislative session last week, a few Democratic lawmakers crossed Capitol Square to stand with Gov. Ralph Northam at a news conference about the state’s response to COVID-19. Then they left town and went home to their districts.
Then the world changed.
With almost 100 confirmed coronavirus cases in Virginia and many aspects of the state economy slowing to a halt, policymakers will have to decide how much relief they can offer to Virginia residents and businesses struggling to navigate the pandemic.
Unemployment claims in Virginia spiked 1,500% this week
By: Ned Oliver
Virginia Mercury – March 20, 2020
Unemployment claims in Virginia surged this week as efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 prompted mass business closures and cutbacks.
The state fielded more than 30,000 applications for cash assistance since Monday. That’s a 1,500 percent increase over last week, when the state received 1,973 claims, according to Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration. And, as VPM notes, it’s the highest number of weekly claims recorded in Virginia since at least 1987, the first year the Department of Labor began releasing the number of claims by state.
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