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Morning Read: Poor in Northern Virginia Hit Hard by Recession

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AM Read: Poor in NoVA Hit Hard by Recession

 A new study examining employment trends in Northern Virginia found that the recession had a disproportionate effect on lower-income households.

The median household income of Northern Virginia’s lowest 20 percent of households saw a decline of over 10.5 percent in real terms between 2007 and 2010, while the area’s highest income households saw a decline of just over 3 percent, according to the report by the Commonwealth Institute.

Virginia workers with less than a high school degree took the greatest hit to their wages. These workers saw a decline of roughly 17.54 percent between 2007 and 2010 while those with a graduate or professional degree experienced a 3.67 percent decline in real earnings over the course of the recession.

Following this trend, poverty increased in the area, by 12 percent in Loudoun to 50 percent in Fauquier.

The study found that Northern Virginia still needs to create almost 100,000 jobs to return to pre-recession employment levels.

“The Northern Virginia economy deserves its reputation as one of the most robust and prosperous in the nation, but for substantial segments of the Northern Virginia workforce, its promises of opportunity and wealth are elusive, and overall Northern Virginians experience cost of living pressures higher than their peers in other parts of the state. Based on a number of economic indicators, the region managed to withstand the Great Recession with
less damage than other areas of the state, but this factor should not detract from the reality of intensified pressures on Northern Virginia workers across the spectrum. Declining income and rising costs mean that workers and families are having
a harder time making ends meet, and
these forces hit moderate and low-income Virginians the hardest,” the report found.

Read the full report here. 

* Gov. Bob McDonnell—a big Mitt Romney supporter and campaigner—said that President Obama is better organized in Virginia than Romney is, according to The Washington Examiner.

"The ground game's not there yet," McDonnell said Tuesday in an interview with editors and reporters from The Washington Examiner. 

But, he said, when it comes time to talk more policy, he thinks Romney will catch up.

"It's the kitchen table issues: It's the economy, it's jobs, it's debt, deficit, energy," said McDonnell, who is often mentioned as a potential vice presidential running mate for Romney, but said Tuesday he isn't currently being vetted by Romney's campaign. "I've told Gov. Romney ... that's what he needs to focus on."

"I don't think [Obama's] 'hope' and 'change' rhetoric and the lofty ideals for the future work anymore," he said.

The Examiner writes that Romney has been slow to organize in Virginia partly because the primary in the state wasn’t competitive—only Romney and Ron Paul qualified to be on the ballot.

* Watch this video here of McDonnell talking about term limits, ultrasounds and the vice-presidency with the News & Messenger and InsideNoVa.com. 

* Thousands of District children who need mental health services are not getting them, according to a report issued this week by The Children’s Law Center. 

The Post reports on the study, which says that the city’s complex system relies too heavily on institutionalizing and medicating those who do receive care.

The Children’s Law Center calls for routine mental health screenings in pediatricians’ offices, more treatment programs in schools and more measures to give children easy access to mental health services.

“It’s not the Mideast peace crisis,” said Judith Sandalow, the CLC’s executive director and an editor of the report, in an interview with The Washington Post editorial board last week. “It’s a solvable problem.”

The Washington Time has an in-depth look on how a District official discovered trouble with Jeffrey Thompson’s campaign donations nearly a decade ago.

* The D.C. Council will meet today to work out budget details. The 1 p.m. meeting is open to the media and will be televised on Channel 13.

But don’t expect to get the full behind-the-scenes scoop from the televised meeting. After the meeting Chairman Kwame Brown meets with staff to try and implement his colleagues requests into the budget.

* A D.C. Council committee Tuesday advanced a bill that cuts in half the amount of time U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to pick up illegal immigrants placed on a civil detainer, according to The Washington Times. 

VIA The Times:

“The bill, co-introduced by all 13 members of the council in November, requires the federal government to pick up detainees within 24 hours — as long as the ICE detainer is the only thing holding the inmate — and pay for the detainee’s incarceration. It also stipulates the District will only hold immigration detainees who are at least 18 years old and have been convicted of violent offenses."

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