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 […]

2022 Session Update: Week Two

This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]

2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission

The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]

2021 Special Session Recap: How VPLC’s Budget Priorities Fared

When the General Assembly convened for a special 2021 session, we urged lawmakers to prioritize Virginians hit hardest by the pandemic with a budget focused on equity. Not all of our priorities were funded, but we will continue to push for these in the state’s next budget. Below, here’s how our recommended budget priorities fared […]

Equitable Rescue & Recovery: VPLC Special Session Budget Priorities

The Virginia General Assembly will convene in Richmond on Monday, August 2 for a special legislative session to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding and fill judicial vacancies. The remaining $4.3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which has provided essential relief to millions of American workers – many of […]

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: 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 […]

VPLC’s 2019 Legislative Review

With another General Assembly session behind us and the dust settled after this month’s veto session, here is a review of what occurred during the 2019 legislative session. This year brought several wins—foster care reform, fairer laws for tenants in the wake of a report detailing Virginia’s high eviction rates, and the end of driver’s […]

Register for the 2018 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference

We are inviting you this year to the lively city of Norfolk, Virginia for the 2018 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference! This educational conference is hosted by Virginia Poverty Law Center and Virginia’s legal aid programs. This year’s event has plenty of CLE offerings for attorneys and other legal aid professionals, including non-CLE sessions for […]

Thank you Boleman Law Firm

We are honored that the Boleman Law Firm, PC is partnering with us as our 40th Anniversary presenting sponsor. The Boleman Law Firm makes this support in recognition of VPLC’s 40 years of advocacy on behalf of low-income Virginians and in honor of all of those working for equal justice at Virginia’s legal aid programs. Thank you Boleman […]

Electricity Burden and the Myth of Virginia’s Rate Utopia

The Affordable Clean Energy Project (ACEP) of Virginia Poverty Law Center has a new interactive map that provides a visual representation of Virginia’s households electricity burden, further dispelling the myth of Virginia’s “rate utopia.” On average Virginia households experience an already higher than average electricity burden of 3.1%, compared to a national average of 2.7%. “Electricity […]

Family Reunification Month: VPLC works on policies to keep families together

Following on the heels of National Foster Care Month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared June to be Family Reunification Month. This is important, because Virginia’s rate of reunification after a child has been removed from a family and placed in foster care is only 30%: considerably lower than the national average of 50%. While […]

National Foster Care Month: Focus on Kinship Care

Occasionally, parents find themselves unable to take care of their children–often temporarily– while they cope with problems with health, employment, housing, addiction, or other life issues. Parents may rely on kinship care: grandparents or other relatives who take in and care for their children. According to the Annie E Casey foundation, 71,000 kids in Virginia […]

Tired of Candidates Not Tackling Real Issues like Housing? Welcome to CHACE

Tired of candidates discussing issues that are not really important to our day-to-day lives? What could be more important than making sure there is enough housing for everyone across income levels?  Yet the issue of  housing affordability has rarely been a key issue in electoral politics in Virginia and elsewhere in the nation. With the […]

Working to Improve Laws for Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims

Every year at the Virginia General Assembly, VPLC supports, opposes and/or works to amend legislative initiatives that affect domestic and sexual violence victims. This year is no exception. As we approach Crossover (the point at which each chamber—the House of Delegates and the Senate—must finish hearing its own bills), we’ve highlighted some of the bills […]

Vote NO on HB 1248–Don’t Feed the Internet Loansharks

  The Online Lending Alliance–a group of internet loansharks is circling Virginia and telling your Delegate to vote for HB 1248.  Tell you Delegate to vote NO to keep the internet loansharks out. HB 1248 will allow internet lenders with no locations in Virginia to get a license under the Virginia Consumer Finance Act.   This […]

Supporting Kinship Guardian Assistance Program (KinGAP)

Keeping families together by helping relative foster families become legal guardians When a child is placed in foster care by the court, sometimes a relative is approved to become the foster parent of the child. After the child has been placed in this relative foster home, in some circumstances—if the court determines that the child […]

Tell your lawmaker: Don’t feed the internet sharks

If Congress and President Trump won’t do their jobs, Virginia must. SB 624 and SB 625 will update Virginia law to address online lending abuses.   It’s no secret that every year the payday loan industry finds new ways to exploit legal loopholes and skirt regulators. Once new rules are implemented, they try another tactic […]

Automatic Driver’s License Suspension for Failure to Pay Court Costs is Not Equal Justice

600,000 Virginians have lost their drivers licenses simply because they are too poor to pay their court fines and costs.   This effectively deprives them of reliable, lawful transportation necessary to get to and from work, take children to school, keep medical appointments, care for ill or disabled family members, or, paradoxically, to meet their financial obligations to […]

VPLC’s 2018 General Assembly Session Legislative Priorities.

The 2018 General Assembly Session began Wednesday, January 10th, at 12 pm. You may recall VPLC reorganized last year into a center service delivery method to better serve the legal aid community and the greater community’s needs.   Therefore, this year’s Legislative Agenda reflects the center model, with the main issues listed under The Center for […]

Access to health coverage matters!

When people have access to health coverage and can take care of their medical needs, they are more likely to get needed care, and to be more financially secure and more productive. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of Virginians remain without insurance and are stuck in the health coverage gap because they make too little to […]

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