EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
TCI’s critical victory to strengthen Virginia’s version of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps 114,000 low-income working families. TCI was able to lock in recent improvements that were made to the EITC for the next four years. This was an important victory since these improvements to the EITC have been under attack in recent years in Virginia and provisions in the tax bill are typically only adopted for one year.
WORK-SHARING & UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
After years of work, TCI's analysis and legislative engagement helped secure two key improvements to the state's unemployment insurance system: creation of a work-sharing program and allowing trailing military spouses to access unemployment insurance benefits. Home to the third largest military population in the country, Virginia was one of just a handful of states where trailing military spouses were ineligible for unemployment compensation. Together, these two policy changes represent significant steps forward in strengthening Virginia's unemployment insurance system so that this critical safety net program better responds to the needs of Virginia workers in what remains a very fragile economy.
TCI improved the rights of all workers in Virginia and created a more level playing field by helping restore funding for the wage enforcement division of the state’s department of labor. We put together compelling analysis showing how restoring the wage enforcement division would lead to more revenue for the state – not just from the civil penalties collected, but also from the sales and income taxes on the recovered wages when workers turn around and spend that money.
ENSURING ACCESS TO VIRGINIA COURTS
TCI protected basic fairness in our legal system by defeating a measure to deny limited English proficient (LEP) persons meaningful access to the courts by eliminating support for interpretive services. We documented the fiscal impact of the proposal and how it would threaten over $40 million in federal funding that supports Virginia courts because it would violate long-standing federal civil rights requirements.
The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis was founded in Richmond, Virginia in December 2006 with a staff of one. We now have a staff of ten including a team of expert analysts of state fiscal and economic issues, a communication and outreach team, and a development team. We have offices in Richmond and Fairfax.
We have strong "feedback loops" for our own research and analysis by having closer relationships with non-profit direct service providers who alert us to challenges they are seeing in the field, objections and problems to state policies from local government partners, and other issues. This, in turn, helps us design policy solutions better to address those concerns. And it also helps ensure that we are providing the kind of analysis and information that partner organizations and advocates actually need to tackle their work and prepare for successful engagement in advocacy efforts on behalf of low- and moderate income families in Virginia.
I joined the Commonwealth Institute’s Board because this organization is setting a national example of how tax and budget research and analysis can advance a wide range of issues from immigration to health care.
Through my professional career as a policy and budget analyst in the United States Senate, I witnessed firsthand the impact that robust research can have on establishing and implementing effective federal policies. I also know how the budget process effects the distribution of resources and, ultimately, the impact that has on providing opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities.
State fiscal policy has become the new battleground when it comes to advancing equity and prosperity
In a relatively short period of time, TCI has grown from a one-person shop to a strong team of researchers and analysts who provide critical information to lawmakers, the media, advocacy organizations working to provide opportunities to help people across the state participate fully in our society and economy.
The Board is committed to helping TCI expand its reach, improving the diversity of its staff, and ensuring the organization’s sustainability so it can continue to have impact and help build a prosperous economy that works for all Virginians.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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