As the state deadline for bill signings approached, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced many legislative signings on April 12.  In proposing amendments and executing these bills, the governor referenced the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and taking action to help Virginia workers address the current crisis as well as plan for economic recovery.

Governor Northam proposed increasing the minimum wage starting May 1, 2021, and advancing prevailing wage, collective bargaining, and project labor agreement legislation as well. He stated that the intent behind this legislation was to help workers get the support they need while allowing greater economic certainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Governor Northam proposed amendments to prohibit apprenticeship discrimination based on gender identity and to create a work-sharing program to support workers impacted by COVID-19. 

Some state legislatures have recessed due to the pandemic with plans to reconvene later in the year. Like Virginia, many states may address the impact of COVID-19 during these recessed regular sessions or Special Sessions this year.

For more information and updates on the developing COVID-19 situation, visit GT’s Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force: Coronavirus Disease 2019.