Finance – CT Contra http://ctcontra.com/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:39:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://ctcontra.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default-141x136.png Finance – CT Contra http://ctcontra.com/ 32 32 Shopping center set to open Christmas season 2022; COVID-19 business loans still available https://ctcontra.com/unsecured-installment-loans-people-bad-credit/ https://ctcontra.com/unsecured-installment-loans-people-bad-credit/#respond Wed, 19 May 2021 05:32:49 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/?p=641 By the Christmas shopping season next year, the city of Victoria expects Crossroads residents to have a new shopping center on the north side of the city. If you want to apply for an online payday loan- read this. The first announcement of new retailers is set to be made in December, said Assistant City Manager […]]]>

By the Christmas shopping season next year, the city of Victoria expects Crossroads residents to have a new shopping center on the north side of the city.

If you want to apply for an online payday loan- read this.

The first announcement of new retailers is set to be made in December, said Assistant City Manager Mike Etienne during a Victoria Economic Development Corp. Partnership meeting Tuesday morning. The 150,000-square-foot shopping center, located near Home Depot along Zac Lentz Parkway, does not have businesses finalized yet to occupy the forthcoming site.

An offramp is set to be moved farther back along the westbound side of Zac Lentz Parkway to allow shoppers to access the site. Both the ramp movement and shopping center, Etienne said, are set to begin construction in January and be complete within 2022 — an update to the project’s timeline that the Advocate previously reported.

Zero-interest loans of up to $50,000 are still available to businesses affected by the pandemic.

The Victoria City Council approved the loans in an agreement with PeopleFund just over a year ago. About $800,000 in funds are still available, Etienne said Tuesday morning.

The city has provided a total grant of $500,000 to PeopleFund for the program. Of that, $345,000 is provided as loan capital that will be available to small businesses. PeopleFund’s match of $500,000 will go entirely toward the loan capital fund, for the original loan pool of $845,000, the Advocate previously reported.

Only one loan has been allocated, Etienne said.

Weekly VEDC partnership meetings are at 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Victoria College’s Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts, 214 N. Main St. The meetings are open to the public, allow for discussion and include a variety of topics relevant to Victoria and the Crossroads.

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Kareena Kapoor Khan is nine months pregnant and ‘going strong’ https://ctcontra.com/kareena-kapoor-khan-is-nine-months-pregnant-and-going-strong/ https://ctcontra.com/kareena-kapoor-khan-is-nine-months-pregnant-and-going-strong/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:35 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/kareena-kapoor-khan-is-nine-months-pregnant-and-going-strong/ Kareena Kapoor Khan is ready to welcome her second child soon. But that did not prevent the actor from fulfilling his professional commitments. On Thursday, Kareena filmed and the actor and his team shared a few glimpses of the same on their Instagram pages. Bebo looks as good as ever in an aqua blue maxi […]]]>

Kareena Kapoor Khan is ready to welcome her second child soon. But that did not prevent the actor from fulfilling his professional commitments. On Thursday, Kareena filmed and the actor and his team shared a few glimpses of the same on their Instagram pages. Bebo looks as good as ever in an aqua blue maxi dress with trumpet sleeves that have ruffles at the hem.

Kareena took to her Instagram page and shared a Boomerang video with a caption that read, “Nine months and it’s going strong #NotGivingUp #FunTimes #BTS.”

Watch the video below:

Earlier during an interaction with IANS, Kareena revealed the importance of caring during pregnancy. She said: “I think it is very important to take care of during pregnancy. It helps you put off your worries and have a more comfortable pregnancy. I have always led a very active life and I cannot do everything. just don’t change that about me just because I’m pregnant.I would say do what makes you happy for a healthy pregnancy.If working makes you happy then you should.

Speaking about his fitness routine during the second pregnancy, the actor told the news agency, “I have done a lot of yoga. Prenatal yoga helps me get through my pregnancy. pregnancy has multiple benefits. It relieves stress, fights mood swings, boosts immunity and prepares your body for childbirth. “

Welcoming the second child, Kareena said, “I guess I’m more prepared and confident this time around. I was pretty nervous and nervous as I was going to be a mother for the first time. much calmer and luckily I’m not going crazy yet. “

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Little Caesars Serving Free Military Breakfast on Veterans Day 2020 with 4 Slices of Pizza https://ctcontra.com/little-caesars-serving-free-military-breakfast-on-veterans-day-2020-with-4-slices-of-pizza/ https://ctcontra.com/little-caesars-serving-free-military-breakfast-on-veterans-day-2020-with-4-slices-of-pizza/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:20 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/little-caesars-serving-free-military-breakfast-on-veterans-day-2020-with-4-slices-of-pizza/ Little Caesars is offering all United States Armed Forces veterans and serving military personnel a free HOT-N-READY combo lunch at participating stores nationwide on Veterans Day 2020. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, veterans and serving military personnel can receive the free breakfast that includes four slices of “Detroit-style Deep Deep […]]]>

Little Caesars is offering all United States Armed Forces veterans and serving military personnel a free HOT-N-READY combo lunch at participating stores nationwide on Veterans Day 2020.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, veterans and serving military personnel can receive the free breakfast that includes four slices of “Detroit-style Deep Deep Dish Pizza” and a 20-ounce Pepsi product.

“All of us at Little Caesars are grateful to all of our veterans and military for their service,” said Little Caesars President and CEO David Scrivano. “In addition to the free Veterans Day breakfast, our family business remains committed to supporting these heroes every day with programs like the Little Caesars Veterans program. “

“The Little Caesars Veterans Program, now in its 14th year, is providing honorably released veterans and Gold Star families with financial incentives to open their own Little Caesars franchise. As part of the Veterans Program, honorably released veterans and Gold Star families receive benefits when opening a franchise store, including a rebate on franchise fees, a rebate on equipment and supplies, financing assistance, as well as advertising and publicity support, among others.

To get the free lunch, proof of service is required and may include an ID with Veteran Designation, DD-214, or current ID issued by the military.

READ MORE

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COVID-19 and financial fragility https://ctcontra.com/covid-19-and-financial-fragility/ https://ctcontra.com/covid-19-and-financial-fragility/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:13 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/covid-19-and-financial-fragility/ In addition to soaring infection rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread lockdowns, shattering declines in production and increased poverty. Behind these trends, a calmer crisis in the financial sector is gaining momentum. The financial fallout from the pandemic does not respect differences by region or income status. Financial institutions around the world are […]]]>

In addition to soaring infection rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread lockdowns, shattering declines in production and increased poverty. Behind these trends, a calmer crisis in the financial sector is gaining momentum. The financial fallout from the pandemic does not respect differences by region or income status. Financial institutions around the world are facing a marked increase in NPLs. COVID-19 is also a regressive crisis, disproportionately hitting low-income households and small businesses that have fewer assets to avoid insolvency.

Since the onset of the pandemic, macroeconomic policies have sought to offset the sharp declines in economic activity associated with widespread closures. The richer countries have had a greater capacity to respond. Loans from multilateral institutions have also made it possible to finance the response to the health emergency in developing countries.

The macroeconomic response has also been supported by temporary moratoriums on bank lending to households facing unemployment and to businesses struggling to survive. Grace periods for loan repayment have been granted by financial institutions in all regions. The understandable rationale has been that because the health crisis is temporary, so is the financial distress of businesses and households. But as the pandemic has persisted, many countries have found it necessary to extend these measures. Banking regulations have often been relaxed with regard to the provisioning of bad debts and debts considered to be non-performing. The result is that the magnitude of nonperforming loans can be markedly underestimated now and for many countries.

Adding to these risks, sovereign downgrades reached a record in 2020. While advanced economies have not been spared, the consequences for banks of sovereign downgrades are more serious in developing countries. In more extreme cases, if the government were to default, the banks would also suffer losses on their holdings of government securities.

Even with the vaccines available, significant damage has already been inflicted on checkups. Withholding policies have provided a valuable coping mechanism, but even extended grace periods end. As 2021 unfolds, more will be learned about whether the problem facing countless businesses and households is insolvency rather than illiquidity. High leverage will amplify the problems in the financial sector.

This type of damage to the balance sheet takes time to repair and often ushers in a long period of deleveraging. Financial institutions are becoming more careful in their lending practices. A credit crunch is usually a serious obstacle to recovery. In some cases, these financial crises turn into sovereign debt crises, as the bailout turns what was private debt before the crisis into public sector liabilities.

The first step towards managing financial fragility is recognizing the extent and magnitude of the problem, followed by restructuring and writing down bad debts. The alternative of funneling resources into zombie loans is a recipe for delayed collection.

This article first appeared in the journal Die Volkswirtschaft / Economic life published by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

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Delaware falls to last place in PPP 2.0 loans https://ctcontra.com/delaware-falls-to-last-place-in-ppp-2-0-loans/ https://ctcontra.com/delaware-falls-to-last-place-in-ppp-2-0-loans/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:58 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/delaware-falls-to-last-place-in-ppp-2-0-loans/ Delaware ranked last in approved PPP 2.0 loans and loan value, according to data released Monday by the SBA. | CREATIVE COMMONS WILMINGTON – More than two weeks after the last loan cycle of the US Small Business Administration‘s Paycheck Protection Program, the First State ranks last. As of Feb. 7, Delaware ranked last in […]]]>

Delaware ranked last in approved PPP 2.0 loans and loan value, according to data released Monday by the SBA. | CREATIVE COMMONS

WILMINGTON – More than two weeks after the last loan cycle of the US Small Business Administration‘s Paycheck Protection Program, the First State ranks last.

As of Feb. 7, Delaware ranked last in total PPP loans obtained and total dollars allocated in all 50 states, according to SBA data. Borrowers have secured 2,787 loans with a total value of over $ 287.8 million, but the slow start in Delaware comes as about a third of all the money allocated by Congress for the cycle has been claimed. .

In the first full week of PPP 2.0 lending, Delaware ranked last in total loans, but ahead of Vermont in aggregate. Not anymore, as Green Mountain State raised more than $ 303 million in week two, according to the SBA.

Despite having nearly 40% more residents than the least populous state of Wyoming, Delaware has had 80% fewer loans and over $ 70 million less than its smaller counterpart. The top state ranks just ahead of Washington, DC, which has nearly 300,000 fewer people in total loans, and far behind the district in value, with DC seeing more than $ 369 million loaned out.

It’s a familiar position for First State, which started among the bottom of the program’s first round of funding in April 2020. By the end of the second round of funding in August, however, Delaware had gained a few spots in both. rankings to finish. closer to its 46th population rank.

A new round of PPP lending began on January 11, starting with a targeted opening to lenders serving underserved communities, and opened more widely on January 19. The PPP was the most suitable federal program for the economic recovery of businesses affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering low-interest loans that could be canceled entirely under certain conditions.

Originally instituted under the CARES Act passed by federal lawmakers in March 2020, it distributed $ 525 billion of the $ 659 billion allocated by Congress before the program expired in August. Delaware companies have received more than 13,000 of these loans worth more than $ 1.5 billion.

As part of the second stimulus package approved by Congress and President Donald Trump in December, the PPP was relaunched with $ 284 billion to be allocated through March 2021, including at least $ 15 billion for underserved communities. .

When the lending portal reopened on January 11, it initially accepted the first PPP loan applications from participating community financial institutions (CFIs), but it appears that interest was mixed. SBA data shows that only about 5% of loans processed came from an CFI, and they accounted for about $ 4.5 billion of the $ 100.5 billion allocated. In Delaware, the only participating FCI was True Access Capital, based in Wilmington.

The third round of loans has been most popular with those looking for a second PPP loan, with around 72% of loans going to second-time borrowers across the country. These loans are capped at $ 2 million instead of the previous $ 10 million, and are only eligible for businesses with 300 or fewer employees, up from 500 in the early rounds.

Borrowers must prove a reduction of at least 25% in gross receipts in a quarter comparable to 2020, which could explain the decline in loan interest. The terms of the third round loans are more favorable, however, as the coverage period can be set from eight to 24 weeks and cover additional costs, including operating expenses, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditure.

Hotel and restaurant operators are also now allowed to claim up to 350% of the monthly payroll compared to the 250% allowed in the previous cycle, to deal with the disproportionate impact they endured last year. . This appears to be effective, as around 18% of loans have gone to these industries so far, totaling over $ 18 billion.

The Biden administration inherited PPP 2.0 just over a week after its launch, and officials scrambled to increase lending to minority business owners. According to SBA data, only around 11% of loans went to borrowers who identify with a minority group.

“While we are excited to do a better job of reaching the hardest-hit industries and communities, we are committed to taking additional steps to ensure equitable access to underserved businesses and which we are empathetically conducting to support small companies in a difficult place, ”SBA senior advisor to administrator Michael Roth said in a statement.

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Florida couple charged with COVID rescue fraud https://ctcontra.com/florida-couple-charged-with-covid-rescue-fraud/ https://ctcontra.com/florida-couple-charged-with-covid-rescue-fraud/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:38 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/florida-couple-charged-with-covid-rescue-fraud/ TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – A Florida couple tried to raise more than $ 5.8 million in coronavirus relief funds by filing bogus loan applications, federal prosecutors have said. Julio Lugo, 44, and Rosenide Venant, 37, both of Davenport, were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy and misrepresenting at a financial institution, court documents show. Lugo […]]]>

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – A Florida couple tried to raise more than $ 5.8 million in coronavirus relief funds by filing bogus loan applications, federal prosecutors have said.

Julio Lugo, 44, and Rosenide Venant, 37, both of Davenport, were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy and misrepresenting at a financial institution, court documents show. Lugo was also charged with an illegal money transaction. If convicted, Lugo faces up to 45 years in federal prison and Venant faces up to 35 years. The case is pending in federal court in Tampa.

According to a criminal complaint, Lugo and Venant have submitted at least 70 bogus and fraudulent loan applications from last spring to the Small Business Administration, including for shell companies created by Lugo, Venant and their relatives. They also secured coronavirus relief funds for a former tax preparation company that Lugo previously used for a fraud scheme in 2015, officials said.

After the emergency loans were secured, Lugo and Venant paid off a luxury vehicle and spent more than $ 62,000 in casinos, investigators said. They also withdrew at least $ 320,000 in cash, prosecutors said. Lugo then posted a video on Facebook showing a hotel room littered with $ 100 bills and at least $ 5,000 in Louis Vuitton merchandise, authorities said.

Online court records do not list lawyers for Lugo and Venant.

The Paycheque Protection Program represents billions of dollars in repayable small business loans for Americans struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s part of the coronavirus relief program that became federal law last March.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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SME loan guarantee – ARAB TIMES https://ctcontra.com/sme-loan-guarantee-arab-times/ https://ctcontra.com/sme-loan-guarantee-arab-times/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:17 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/sme-loan-guarantee-arab-times/ WhatsApp Facebook Twitter E-mail Messenger KUWAIT CITY, March 16: The Kuwaiti Cabinet has approved a bill on supporting and guaranteeing local bank loans to customers affected by the coronavirus measures. The Cabinet approved the bill, which was proposed by its economic committee, and referred it to His Highness Deputy Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, […]]]>





KUWAIT CITY, March 16: The Kuwaiti Cabinet has approved a bill on supporting and guaranteeing local bank loans to customers affected by the coronavirus measures. The Cabinet approved the bill, which was proposed by its economic committee, and referred it to His Highness Deputy Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the foreign minister said and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Dr Sheikh Ahmad Nasser. Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah in a statement following the virtual Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet also tasked the Minister of Trade and Industry to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Central Bank of Kuwait, the National Fund for the Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises, the Kuwait Economic Society and other relevant bodies to propose a series of bills and executive measures to support small and medium-sized businesses and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them.

Earlier, His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah briefed the Cabinet on recent reassuring medical examinations of His Highness Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the United States. His Highness the Prime Minister and the other ministers wished His Highness the Amir eternal well-being. Health Minister Dr Sheikh Bassel Al-Sabah briefed Cabinet on the epidemic situation in the country. In his presentation, the minister exposed that the daily increase in the number of infections and deaths from coronavirus is still high. He also noted that the number of hospitalizations and occupants of intensive care units was also increasing despite the lockdown measures imposed and the nighttime curfew. He stressed that this situation requires more vigilance and respect for preventive measures. (KUNA)





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Mortgage rates falling, keeping the Refi window open https://ctcontra.com/mortgage-rates-falling-keeping-the-refi-window-open/ https://ctcontra.com/mortgage-rates-falling-keeping-the-refi-window-open/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:42 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/mortgage-rates-falling-keeping-the-refi-window-open/ You have money matters. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you stay on top of your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools they need to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can be sure […]]]>

Mortgage rates fell slightly this week, a pullback that creates an opportunity for homeowners who have yet to refinance their home loans.

The average cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.32% from 3.33% last week, according to Bankrate’s national survey of lenders. Rates hit a record high of 2.93% last month. The 15-year fixed rate also fell to 2.56% from 2.62% last week.

The discount rate includes origin points and other charges in its figure. The 30-year fixed rate loans in this week’s survey included an average total of 0.34 points of discount and origination.

Millions of American homeowners could still benefit from refinancing.

“For some reason, there are a lot of people who haven’t refinanced,” says Brian Smith, Mortgage Advisor at Union Home Mortgage. “Some people need to hear the refinance message once and they take action. Some people need to hear the message 10 or 20 times and then they take action. And some people wait until the opportunity is almost lost.

Mortgage rates fell after the coronavirus recession hit in the spring of 2020, a trend that helped boost the surprisingly strong housing market. The upward trend in mortgage rates reflects signals of an economic recovery.

“The rates were really low because our economy was really bad with the pandemic,” says Melissa Cohn, executive mortgage banker at William Raveis Mortgage. “Hundreds of thousands of people have died. Millions of people were out of work. But the good news is that the economy is starting to improve. It’s good for the world, but it means the rates are starting to rise.

Meanwhile, home prices have risen sharply during the pandemic, and lower mortgage rates have helped drive home values ​​up. For home buyers, and especially first-time buyers, rising prices pose an affordability challenge.

As a sign that rates will continue to rise, the yield on the 10-year Treasury, a key indicator of mortgage rates, has more than doubled in recent months. With Democrats taking control of the White House and Congress, a generous stimulus bill has been enacted – and more government spending may be on the way.

“While a modest improvement in rates is possible, it could be short-lived,” says Elizabeth Rose, sales manager at AmCap Mortgage in Dallas.

Mortgage experts polled by Bankrate are divided on the direction rates will take in the coming week, with 57% expecting rates to stay the same.

Learn more:

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NYS investigation reveals racial gap in Buffalo mortgages https://ctcontra.com/nys-investigation-reveals-racial-gap-in-buffalo-mortgages/ https://ctcontra.com/nys-investigation-reveals-racial-gap-in-buffalo-mortgages/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:43 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/nys-investigation-reveals-racial-gap-in-buffalo-mortgages/ A New York State survey of mortgage lenders in the city of Buffalo found that these companies preferred white applicants over those seeking to live in neighborhoods populated primarily by people of color, according to a report on the. survey released Thursday.The practice, called “redlining,” has been illegal for decades, but investigation found it was […]]]>

A New York State survey of mortgage lenders in the city of Buffalo found that these companies preferred white applicants over those seeking to live in neighborhoods populated primarily by people of color, according to a report on the. survey released Thursday.
The practice, called “redlining,” has been illegal for decades, but investigation found it was not uncommon in the city of Buffalo, where white owners outnumber those of color.

Loans to minorities in the Buffalo MSA represent only 9.74% of total loans to Buffalo – less than half of what would be expected given that minorities make up about 20% of the MSA population.
NYS Div. financial services

The State Financial Services Department, the state banking and insurance regulatory agency, has found the practice to be particularly egregious among non-depository lenders, which are lenders who do not provide services. banks, so they are not considered to be banks.

Linda Lacewell, the agency’s superintendent, said the report’s findings were “particularly disturbing” but could provide a path for legislative action.

“Homeownership is a critical path to wealth creation and economic stability, and the data is clear – families of color, especially African Americans, do not have equal access to mortgages at home. Buffalo versus white households, ”Lacewell said.

According to the agency, only 9.74% of loans made in the Buffalo area have gone to people of color, who make up about 20% of the metro area’s population.

The trend was worse for non-depository institutions. These companies made only 3.7% of their mortgages in majority minority neighborhoods, while depository companies made 5.05% of their mortgages in these communities. Either way, it’s not proportional to the population.

Credit NYS Financial Services Division

loans_2.jpg

The agency recommended in the report that the state legislature amend what is known as the Community Reinvestment Act to apply to non-depository lenders. The law, which currently only applies to full-fledged banks, requires institutions to clearly define their entire service area.

The state is also asking the federal government to look into federally regulated financial institutions for fair loan violations in Buffalo. Some financial institutions are licensed by the state, while others are licensed by the federal government.

The DFS is also returning the report to the state’s State Department to investigate real estate agents that non-depository lenders relied on for their business in Buffalo. That way the state can see how they fit into the disparity.

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation this year to limit redlining in communities of color by offering more help to mortgage applicants in those neighborhoods, as well as state-sanctioned loans.

NOTE: “Can Ox overcome his racial actions?” The answer is not in black and white ”by WBFO’s Marian Hetherly is cited twice in the state report.

Albany reporter Dan Clark is the producer and host of New York Now on WNED PBS Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and a regular contributor to WBFO.org.

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Virginia governor wants to speed up legalization of marijuana https://ctcontra.com/virginia-governor-wants-to-speed-up-legalization-of-marijuana/ https://ctcontra.com/virginia-governor-wants-to-speed-up-legalization-of-marijuana/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:40 +0000 https://ctcontra.com/virginia-governor-wants-to-speed-up-legalization-of-marijuana/ RICHMOND, Virginia – Adults in Virginia could legally own and grow small amounts of marijuana starting in July, about three years earlier than originally planned, under changes the governor proposed Wednesday to legislation passed earlier this year . “Our Commonwealth is committed to legalizing marijuana fairly,” Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release […]]]>

Advocates on all sides of the issue have been eagerly awaiting for weeks to see what changes Northam would propose to the bill that approved the General Assembly in February.

The measure has been a top priority for Democrats who control the state government, who see it as a necessary step to end the disparate treatment of people of color under current marijuana laws. But lawmakers struggled to reach agreement during the session, passing a bill that almost no one seemed fully satisfied with. He wouldn’t have legalized marijuana until 2024, which racial justice advocates said was far too long to wait.

A coalition of advocacy groups – including Marijuana Justice, Justice Forward Virginia, RISE for Youth, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia – hailed the July 1 legalization date as “the first step towards ending enforcement. the racist marijuana law ”. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also welcomed the amendments.

“This significant change to the legislation recently passed by the General Assembly will allow the Commonwealth to begin addressing the tragic consequences of communities of color being over-policed ​​in the failure of the war on drugs. Marijuana laws are more severely enforced in black and brown communities, and we cannot risk more people being caught in the system for acting in a way that will soon be legal, ”the coalition said in a statement. communicated.

Northam’s office said its decision to speed up legalization was prompted by a state study last year that found black Virginians were disproportionately watched and convicted of using marijuana, and by state court data which shows the trend has continued even since lawmakers decriminalized marijuana last year. .

Discussions with legislators went to the end; Wednesday was Northam’s deadline to take action on the legislation.

His office issued a press release filled with favorable remarks from legislative heads of both houses and two Republicans, signaling that his proposed changes have the votes to become law once lawmakers meet in April.

“I am grateful to advocates and lawmakers for their dedicated work on this important issue, and look forward to this legislation being passed next month,” Northam said.

The governor’s amendments would allow adults 21 and over to legally possess up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of cannabis without intention of distributing as of July 1. They would also allow home cultivation of up to four plants per household from July 1.

Not all lawmakers support legislation. Democratic Senator Chap Petersen voted against the bill and remains skeptical, despite Northam’s amendments.

“I don’t have a problem with decriminalizing or even legalizing small amounts of marijuana for adult use, but I’m not a fan of building a marijuana industry in this state, which seems be the goal of legislation, ”he said. noted.

Northam’s changes would maintain current public safety measures that prohibit smoking marijuana while driving, smoking while driving a school bus, and possessing marijuana on school property.

It will be years before legal retail sales follow. The bill, hundreds of pages long, outlines the complex process of creating a new state agency to oversee the marijuana market, with sales beginning and regulations taking effect on January 1. 2024.

The bill as passed also calls for 30% of marijuana tax revenue – after program costs – to be spent on a cannabis equity reinvestment fund. The money would be used to help communities that have been historically over-policed ​​for marijuana-related crimes, with funds earmarked for scholarships, workforce development and job placement services. , and low or no interest loans for qualified cannabis companies.

Some racial equity advocates have said 30% is not enough. Members of the Cannabis Equity Coalition of Virginia have said they will lobby lawmakers to increase the amount of money for the reinvestment fund to 70% of tax revenue.

“There is so much to do – the damage is enormous,” said Marty Jewell, spokesperson for the coalition.

During the legislative session, the Senate sought to legalize simple possession starting in July, but House Democrats argued that legalizing without a legal marijuana market could help the growth of the black market.

Northam said on Wednesday he was seeking two related budget amendments, one to increase funding for a public awareness campaign and the other to help law enforcement officials recognize and prevent driving under the effect of the drug. It also seeks to add protections for workers and to speed up the sealing of files and write-offs.

One would allow the new Cannabis Control Authority “to revoke a company’s business license if it interferes with union organizing efforts, does not pay the current salary as defined by the United States Department of Labor, or classifies more than ten percent of employees as independent contractors, ”according to a description provided by his office.

The full text of the proposed amendments was not immediately available.

The other amendment “would allow the erasing and sealing of criminal records on marijuana to begin as soon as state agencies are able to do so, and simplify the criteria for sealing the records,” his office said.

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