Reducing the Trauma of Removal

Why Reunification and Sibling-Placements Are Crucial to the Well-Being of Children in the Child Welfare System By Courtney Squires, Summer Intern for the VPLC Center for Family Advocacy, University of Richmond School of Law To ensure the child welfare system works in the best interest of children, it is important to understand that removal and […]

Virginia Must Do Better By Families 

By Valerie L’Herrou Families are important to all of us, but especially to children. As British pediatrician and psychologist DW Winnicott put it, “There is no such thing as a baby. If you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone, but […]

PRESS RELEASE: Class action settlement provides $489 million in relief to victims of illegal internet payday lenders

After three years of extensive litigation, the settlement will provide relief to approximately 555,000 consumers who were subject to illegal practices by internet payday lenders. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2022   Richmond, VA – The federal court in Richmond today gave preliminary approval of a class action settlement that will provide $489 million of relief to […]

PRESS RELEASE: Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center on Gubernatorial Vetoes of HB573 and SB297 (Medical Debt Reform)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2022 Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center state that Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of Del. Clark’s HB573 and Sen. Deeds’ SB297 have derailed critical, popular, and thoughtfully crafted bipartisan consumer debt reforms for thousands upon thousands of Virginians. Richmond, VA – Outstanding bills for medical treatment are one […]

Why Language Access is Essential for Domestic Violence Survivors

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this post comes from VPLC’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Attorney, Susheela Varky. Imagine you have to go to court — whether it’s to pursue your own case against someone who has wronged you or because you’ve received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case. Most […]

Celebrating National Energy Efficiency Day – and Continuing the Work to Rebuild Virginia’s Energy Landscape into a Balanced and Equitable System

October 6 is National Energy Efficiency Day. Today’s post comes from VPLC’s Director of Outreach and Consumer Advocacy, Dana Wiggins and Affordable Clean Energy Project Coordinator, Carmen Bingham. Energy Efficiency and the Affordable Clean Energy Project Energy efficiency is the least cost resource for energy, because the least expensive kilowatt hour is the one you […]

PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]

PRESS RELEASE: Medicaid expands to cover full dental services, prenatal services regardless of immigration status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date:  July 1, 2021 Medicaid expands to cover full dental services, prenatal services regardless of immigration status Richmond, Va.— Effective today, Virginia has expanded Medicaid to cover dental benefits for all new and current enrollees as well as added new coverage for pregnant women regardless of their immigration status. The decision to […]

New Housing Laws Take Effect Today

Big changes in housing law are taking effect in Virginia, with many temporary eviction protections expiring soon and new housing laws that passed during the 2021 legislative session going into effect today. Read below to learn more about the major updates. EVICTION PROTECTIONS   Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium extended to July 31, 2021: The CDC Eviction […]

PRESS RELEASE: Jill Hanken, VPLC Health Attorney to Retire, VPLC Announces Scholarship Fund in Her Honor

The Jill A. Hanken Scholarship Fund will honor Hanken’s accomplishments and build upon her legacy by training health law advocates in Virginia’s legal aid community. RICHMOND, VA – After a long and storied career of public service, advocacy, and leadership in healthcare for low-income Virginians, Jill Hanken, Health Attorney and Director of the Center for […]

Aging in Place with Community Support

Given a choice, most of us would choose to ‘age in place’ as we get older, remaining in our own homes and communities for as long as possible and potentially avoiding living out later years in a nursing home. The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored this. Over the past 15 months, the virus ravaged nursing […]

PRESS RELEASE: Judge Orders VEC to Fix Issues at Agency

Judge Orders Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to End Unemployment Insurance Backlog and Fix Issues at the Agency    Legal Aid groups and their Pro Bono Partners will monitor the VEC’s progress to ensure Virginians who have been struggling, often for months, get access to the relief they are owed    Richmond, VA – Today, Judge Henry […]

PRESS RELEASE: Thousands of Virginians are enrolling in health coverage through the ACA because of the American Rescue Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date:  May 13, 2021 Thousands of Virginians are enrolling in health coverage through the ACA because of the American Rescue Plan More than 24,000 Virginians have selected new health coverage plans since the current special enrollment period began   Richmond, Va.— Virginians are enrolling in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act […]

PRESS RELEASE: USDA announces free lunches for all students through 2021-22 school year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DATE: April 22, 2021 USDA announces free lunches for all students through 2021-22 school year The extension will bring relief to millions of food-insecure families. RICHMOND, VA – The United States Department of Agriculture has extended universal free lunch for all students through the next school year, bringing relief to millions of […]

Sexual Assault Can and Does Happen to Everyone: Musings on Serving Male Victims

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are featuring a blog post from Susheela Varky, Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence at the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC). To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Recently, I held a virtual training for advocates about the types of services VPLC provides to […]

Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2021 Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) stands in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in light of the tragic shooting that occurred in Atlanta, GA, Tuesday night. We mourn the loss of these victims and send condolences to their loved ones. We are outraged over the rise […]

2021 Legislative Review

The 2021 General Assembly session officially ended Monday, with all the bills and budget amendments passed now on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law. The Governor has until March 31, 2021 to sign, amend, or veto a bill. If he signs a bill, it becomes law on July 1, 2021 (or later […]

General Assembly Session Update: Special Session Winds Down

Many people are getting the vaccine, and there is hope that we may see this pandemic winding down. The General Assembly special session is also winding down, and there is hope that many of our initiatives will be enacted into law. Below, a more detailed update on some of the issues we’re working on. Housing […]

Housing Advocacy Session Update: Halfway Through

Dear fellow housing advocates, We are roughly halfway through the 2021 regular legislative session and have made great progress advancing tenants’ rights in Virginia! All but one of the bills we are supporting this session have passed in both chambers! On Wednesday afternoon, February 17, the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee will consider Delegate Price’s bill (HB1889) […]

General Assembly Session Update: Special Session in Full Swing, All Eyes on Budget Amendments

The 2021 General Assembly session has ended, but by order of the Governor, the 2021 General Assembly Special Session began Wednesday. The Special Session is expected to last two to three weeks. Both the House and the Senate approved the Governor’s proposed budget but with many amendments.  It is expected that the House will reject […]

PRESS RELEASE: Enroll Virginia to Host Virtual Town Hall, Press Conference to Discuss the ACA Marketplace Reopening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date:  February 11, 2021 Enroll Virginia to Host Virtual Town Hall, Press Conference to Discuss the ACA Marketplace Reopening  Leaders from the state and federal levels will share their thoughts on why this new health insurance enrollment opportunity is coming at a critical time for Virginians Richmond, Va.—Enroll Virginia, a statewide health […]

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