In Episode 73, Norm Leahy, local columnist for The Washington Post, and J.R. discuss the local impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as a call for a special session of the General Assembly by State Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment. From the Norment press release calling for the session:
Norment is requesting that a revenue reforecast be provided to the General Assembly. Additionally, Norment calls for consideration of legislation limiting the liability of employers with employees who have been exposed to the Coronavirus and continue to work without the employers’ knowledge of that exposure. Finally, Norment is calling for the exactment of legislation granting local governments and regional commissions greater latitude to conduct necessary business during the continuing state of emergency.
For the interview, J.R. interviews the Communications Director for House of Delegates Minority Leader Todd Gilbert. Shipley effectively works as the lead communicator for the House Republican Caucus. For the interview, we discuss:
- How journalism prepared him for his job;
- His daily routine during and out of session;
- Evaluating the message;
- Surprises from this General Assembly session – including gun laws, the repeal of commonsense abortion limits, redistricting (and some true profiles in courage for some Democratic members), criminal justice changes, and transportation (spoiler alert: we still have a Car Tax and an increase in the gas tax);
- His view on legislation impacting Virginia’s pro-business environment (including minimum wage, right to work, tax increases); and
- the new state budget.
“We’re working very hard to make [dealing with Coronavirus] somewhat better,” Shipley said. “Republicans and Democrats alike, across the General Assembly, are working with the administration, talking amongst ourselves, trying to get the best plan to move forward as quickly as we can to help those folks who are hurting right now.”
Links of note:
- House Republican Caucus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (COVID-19 Advice)
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Cases (Official)
- Warning on Malware (ReasonSecurity – How hackers are using the Johns Hopkins map)
- Norment Letter to Governor Northam
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Go Directly To The InterviewSkip to 15:45 in the player for the interview with Garren Shipley