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Virginia Senate Committee Rejects SB 780, Secretive Procurement Process Halted

A statement from LIUNA Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Dennis L. Martire in response to the Virginia Senate committee's vote on SB 780.

Reston, Va. (February 3, 2023) - We are pleased that the Virginia Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted against SB 780, which would have authorized a referendum to approve a casino in Petersburg. Preceding the vote, LIUNA wrote to the Virginia Senate and testified in opposition, and we are confident that the senators heard our concerns over the procurement process.

This bill was flawed in that the selection of a developer to build and operate the casino has been kept secret, casting doubt on the project’s integrity. LIUNA supports casino development in Virginia if it includes a transparent procurement process and strong labor standards through labor agreements to ensure that casino development creates good, family-supporting jobs.

Local residents should not be kept in the dark about development in their city. They deserve to know what workforce and community standards are in place.

Rejecting SB 780 was in the best interest of Petersburg residents who, had they been faced with a referendum, would have lacked crucial information on what they were voting on due to the lack of transparency. We hope that House concurs with the Senate to put an end to any back-room deals represented by this bill.