How Do We Craft the Message?

October 19, 2023

For those of you able to be at the conference last week, you know we spent a fair amount of time talking about “messaging.”  Particularly notable were the presentations by Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Emmett Hanger – both addressed the importance of clear, concise but impactful communication.  

In the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning, I noticed a number of articles that touched on/related to the ability to recruit/retain individuals into our most challenging positions with the funding available to do so:

  • The issue of affordable child care is front and center because it was a factor in the recent workplace actions that we have seen across the country.   It becomes a factor for all the obvious reasons – it is too costly for many families and/or just not available (day care centers can’t hire sufficient workers either!).
  • Across the board, health insurance coats went up  – for 2023 the average increase across the country was 7% (a considerable increase from 2022) and the industry expects another bump up for the 2024 plans.

We also heard this week from Secretary Cummings (the Secretary of Finance in the current state administration) during his quarterly presentations to both House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees – that while the economy is still a bit shakey, generally all is well in Virginia.  

However, in answer to a very specific question from a Delegate about the impact of the increases mandated in the minimum wage over the past few years, the Secretary said that the business community had handled it well and that it had not been a significant factor.  [That is not a quote, but what I took away from his comments].  Clearly, the majority of the business community can and does cover higher labor costs by increasing prices/revenue!

So, how do we craft the message?    Over the next several weeks, we will be looking at this specific issue and all of the policy issues identified at the recent conference to craft our message for the upcoming General Assembly session – it will be ready to go in early November so you can schedule time with your newly elected or re-elected members of the House or Senate!