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 […]

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 […]

SNAP Expansion: What You Need to Know

On July 1, 2021, Virginia expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), making over 25,000 families in Virginia newly eligible for food assistance. Here’s what you need to know about the program’s recent changes and available resources that can help with determining eligibility and the application process. The SNAP Eligibility […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

PRESS RELEASE: Open Enrollment Ends December 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2020 Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace ends Tuesday, December 15 —meaning that Virginians who do not renew or sign up for coverage for the first time before December 15 could have to wait up to another year for health coverage. Enroll Virginia, a nonpartisan, community-based organization, has a […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

This Ramadan, join us in fighting hunger in Virginia

Sunday marked the start of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink (even water) from dawn to sunset to learn and practice self-control, gratitude, and compassion. Ramadan is a month of contemplation, devotion, and spiritual rejuvenation. While we contemplate our own hunger, we become mindful […]

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 […]

More Virginia students have access to breakfast, according to 2019 School Breakfast Report

For students who come from food insecure households, school breakfast can be the first meal after hours or even an entire weekend without food. School meals are vitally important to communities with high levels of poverty and insecurity. In our 2019 annual school breakfast report, we’ve outlined how each federal nutrition program works, the participation […]

Why Increasing TANF Matters

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded, cash assistance program that had a $136 million surplus at the end of FY 2018. A proposed budget amendment in the Virginia Senate would use a very small portion of that surplus to increase TANF benefits for families by five percent and would address several […]

Crossover Report | 2019 General Assembly

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly—the last day for bills to be heard in the Senate or House of Delegates before crossing over to the other chamber for review. Check out our 2019 Crossover Report to learn more about the bills we support, oppose, and monitor. Take Action! We need your help […]

Removing Barriers to SNAP for Drug Felons

HB 1891 will repeal the ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for drug felons who have served their sentences. Under current law, justice is denied to drug felons who have served their sentences but are permanently banned from accessing public benefits. Statistically, most drug felons are from low income households and struggle to […]

Anti-Lunch Shaming Bill

By Kathleen Murphy Child Nutrition Specialist Virginia Hunger Solutions   Across the state, around 11 am, millions of students flood cafeterias ready to eat. Many have packed lunches from home. Others buy their lunches from the school cafeteria. As students approach the cash register they enter a pin number, say their name, or pay for the […]

The Bad “Welfare Bills” Bills Are Dead

 Public Benefits Legislative Update                This year, the leadership of the House of Delegates unleashed a series of attacks against SNAP (food stamps) and TANF programs in the name of “welfare reform.”  These bills were designed to cut access to both programs resulting in irreparable harm to low-income families across Virginia.  VPLC has fought […]

Action Needed – Oppose HB2213 -PLEASE CALL TODAY!

There are several very disturbing bills pending at the General Assembly that would limit/cut TANF and SNAP (food stamps) benefits. The good news is VPLC has already killed several SNAP bills that would have prohibited waivers of SNAP work requirements in areas of high unemployment/few jobs. The bad news is we are still facing TANF […]

VPLC Opposes HB 2213

VPLC Opposes HB 2213 Because It Would Hurt The Poorest Virginia Families’ Opportunities To Become Self-Sufficient And Independent.   Currently, the poorest families in Virginia can receive cash assistance from the TANF program (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) for a maximum of 60 months.  The average monthly benefit is just $267, and non-exempt adults are already […]

Read more