Richmond, VA – The Women’s Equality Coalition today sharply criticized the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee for rejecting common sense proposals to lift up working families. The committee gave SB668 and SB247, raising Virginia’s minimum wage and expanding access to paid sick days, scant consideration before voting them down along party lines.

“No one who works full-time should have to live or raise a family in poverty,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Growth comes from the middle out, not the top down. Shame on the Senators who today refused to give our economy a shot in the arm and our families more money to invest in local communities.”

Wendy Jimenez, a community organizer with CASA, said, “CASA is extremely disappointed with the decision by the Senators today to deny an increase in minimum wage. By opposing an increase in minimum wage, these Senators have denied food on the table, money for rent, and other necessities that working families have to endure with an unlivable wage.”

“Every day parents in Virginia have to decide between staying home to care for a sick child and potentially losing their job or sending that child to potentially spread their illness to other children so that they can continue to pay their bills and support their families,” said Julie Emery, executive director of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table. “The Virginia General Assembly had a chance to change that today. We’re very disappointed that they missed an opportunity to help so many of Virginia’s working families.”

Contact: Alena Yarmosky,, (240-595-2972)

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