Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs His First Bill


Governor Glenn Youngkin signed his first bill on Monday. HB 828, sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham), was the first bill passed out of the 2022 General Assembly last week. It passed without receiving any recorded ‘no’ votes in either the House or the Senate.

In 2021, Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) sponsored a bill to create a state-run assistance program to help dairy farmers participate in the federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program that provides financial assistance for small and mid-sized dairy farmers when milk prices drop. In January, Wilt said in committee that the federal government didn’t have the program available in time, which meant that farmers would miss an application deadline at the beginning of February.

“So what this bill simply does is extend that time to May 15,” Wilt said.

The bill contains an emergency clause that made it take effect as soon as Youngkin signed it.

The 2021 bill also required applicants to have a certified nutrient management plan with the Department of Conservation and Resources, but the language left out some applicants who had similar plans with other agencies. HB 828 expands eligibility to include those applicants.

Agriculture is Virginia’s number one industry and plays a critical role in Virginia’s economic growth. Therefore, it is not lost on me that the first bill I signed assists Virginia’s dairy farmers. Virginia’s farmers can count on me to advance our economy and provide job growth opportunities in all corners of the Commonwealth,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a press release.

In the release, Secretary of Agriculture Matt Lohr said, “Since 2017, Virginia has seen a 35 percent decline in the number of dairy producers yet the dairy industry continues to generate over $9 billion annually in economic activity. This legislation will bring much needed relief to Virginia dairy farmers as they continue modeling excellent stewardship while providing for their families and supporting our communities.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin.



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