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Virginia Democratic state delegate says progressives face 'some immense frustrations' from leadership

Virginia House Delegate Lee Carter (D) said Wednesday there are some frustrations within the party making it difficult for more progressive bills to move forward despite Democratic control. 

“This legislative session is really interesting because while there are some things that we should absolutely be celebrating, things like increases in minimum wage, allowing public sector employees to collectively bargain, there are also some immense frustrations from sort of the labor left with the current leadership,” Carter said on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” 

Bills such as one allowing public sector employees the right to strike or to appeal the right to work in Virginia, have “stalled out,” he said. 

“What we have is a Democratic majority that, yes, it's certainly very different from the Republican majority that came before, but in a lot of ways for those of us on the left it is not different enough for our liking,” Carter added.

Virginia Democrats won the majority of both state houses in the 2019 elections, and the party now controls all three branches of government along with Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. 

Carter said some of the frustration lies in the Democratic coalition as a whole. He said the party “tries to be a compromise between workers and management,” whereas the Republican party “doesn't even try to pretend” to compromise. 

Last week Virginia's House of Delegates passed a bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, by a 55-45 vote, WHSV, a local ABC affiliate, reported. It will head to the state Senate which is reportedly expected to pass its own version of a minimum wage hike bill.