Governor Glenn Youngkin held a ceremonial bill signing of legislation focused on blocking human trafficking, and a swearing in of the Commission on Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support. He said the legislation would help victims get their lives back and have future opportunities, help find perpetrators and bring them to justice, and equip members of the public to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know how to respond.Read More
Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced an alternative hiring process for people with disabilities; Youngkin’s Tuesday announcement said that reflects Virginia’s priorities for its workforce.
“This process is only the beginning of our strategy to demonstrate our commitment to individuals with differing abilities to improve the state workforce,” Secretary of Administration Margaret “Lyn” McDermid said. “It is one facet of a more comprehensive strategy, which includes accommodations, communication, education and awareness, compliance and retention of individuals with differing abilities.”Read More
The Virginia Senate passed a bill that will allow parents to opt their children out of wearing masks at school. Democratic Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Lynwood Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) joined with Republicans to pass SB 739 after the Senate debated the bill for over an hour on Wednesday.
Bill sponsor Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), an OB/GYN, said during debate, “Two years into this pandemic, keeping unproven measures in place is no longer justifiable. We must evolve; science doesn’t stand still. We did masks and boxes and other things because we thought maybe they might help but they have not proven to do so. I will say further that you have before you a conflict between two constitutional priorities in Virginia. One is that school boards get to decide policy for their districts. But the other is that we are a parental rights state. You’re going to have to choose which authority, ceded by the Constitution, you’re going to stand by today.”Read More
The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee killed two bills from Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) aiming rollbacks at Virginia’s collective bargaining laws. SB 374 would have removed locality authority to enter into collective bargaining agreements with public employees, and would have removed locality authority to require contracts to be performed at prevailing wage.
“The effect of these legislative changes that I’m seeking to undo is that, really, we’ve thrown open the doors for large out-of-state union contractors to come in and take jobs and opportunities away from Virginia contractors, Virginia employees. It deprives us of the benefit of our right to work status,” Obenshain said to the committee chaired by Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax). “This is a pro-jobs, pro-Virginia, pro-individual liberty, pro-Virginian piece of legislation.”Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia – The General Assembly continues to debate Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order One banning Critical Race Theory and “inherently divisive concepts.” On Wednesday, legislators debated the policy in the House Education Committee, on the House floor, and on the Senate floor. The newly-Republican-controlled House of Delegates has been slow to hear bills in committee, which generated another House floor back-and-forth, but although key anti-CRT bills haven’t been heard in the Education Committee yet, delegates got a jump-start on debating the topic when interviewing Youngkin nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
Balow previously served as Wyoming’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she supported anti-CRT legislation.
“I share Governor Youngkin’s priorities for education,” Balow said.Read More
Republicans have a good chance to retake the majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates, powered by historically-Republican voters in swing districts who were alienated by former President Donald Trump. To win the majority, Republicans need to protect what they have and take six seats. They see opportunities in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond, Virginia Beach, and downstate Virginia.
“We feel that with the environment that’s going on right now, we’ve got great opportunities to pick up five to nine seats to take over,” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “That’s one thing you don’t have any control of, but the environment, you know, of Biden and just the overreach by a lot of the Democrats’ bills last year has really focused the independents back our way.”Read More
Former governor Terry McAuliffe will again be Virginia Democrats’ nominee for governor, according to the Virginia Public Access Project which called the race on Tuesday evening. Incomplete unofficial results showed McAuliffe soundly beating all four of his challengers.Read More
The Commonwealth Forward PAC is a new Democratic PAC founded to fight lobbyists and corporate interests, even within the Democratic Party, and is funded primarily by $525,000 from the Michael Bills-funded Clean Virginia Fund. Bills has donated $3 million to the fund in 2021, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP.)Read More
Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) withdrew from the race for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor after campaign finance reports revealed she was trailing financially, sixth out of seven among the Democratic candidates. But a new Christopher Newport University/Wason Center Poll released Thursday shows that Guzman was polling in second place for the nomination even as she dropped out of the race. The poll places Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) at the head of the race for Lieutenant Governor with 12 percent, Guzman came in second with 4 percent, and 64 percent of voters were undecided. None of the other candidates scored more than two percent.Read More
Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) and Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), who are both running for lieutenant governor, started their education debate on Twitter during the 2021 General Assembly session. On Saturday, the two candidates met on Zoom to continue their discussion about the future of education in Virginia.Read More
The General Assembly passed HB 2213, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s (D-Prince William) bill to create a work group of scientists, local representatives, activists and state officials to study the impacts of gold mining. Although the bill originally included a two-year moratorium on permits for new gold mines bigger than 10 acres, the Senate removed that clause before passing the bill Tuesday 23 to 16. The House passed the amended version Thursday 56 to 43, sending it to the Governor for final approval.Read More
Delegate Lee Carter’s right-to-work repeal died in crossover Friday, much like in the previous two years, but on Wednesday, Carter fought to give it one last chance. On the floor of the virtual House session, Carter raised a motion to discharge the bill from committee, a procedural move that would allow delegates to vote on hearing the bill in the House even though it had not been passed out of committee.
Carter said, “I’ve introduced this bill for the last three years running, and its fate in both previous years has been to die in crossover without a recorded vote on its final disposition.”Read More
After Canadian mining exploration company Aston Bay Holdings began exploring Buckingham County for gold, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) introduced HB2213, which prohibits the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy from authorizing permits for gold mining while studies are conducted with the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice and other stakeholders.Read More
The debate over whether or not businesses should be required to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave will again be taken up by the Virginia General Assembly when it convenes for its regular session on January 13th.
After multiple bills calling for paid sick leave were killed by a Senate committee during this past summer’s special session, those same lawmakers are once again intending to offer legislation on the issue.Read More
Virginia State Delegate Mark Levine (D-Arlington) announced last Monday that he was officially running for lieutenant governor and joining the crowded contest.
Levine, 54, is the 12th contender to enter into the race so far and, if elected, he would become Virginia’s first openly gay statewide elected official.Read More
Virginia Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) wants to be a bridge between lawmakers and Virginians throughout the Commonwealth and offer a new perspective in state politics if her bid to become the next lieutenant governor is successful.
Ayala, 47, entered Virginia’s 2021 lieutenant gubernatorial election on July 14th, and was one of the first candidates to enter into the race that now features a dozen Democratic and Republican hopefuls.Read More
State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) is determined to bring a fresh progressive voice to the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate and advocate for the Commonwealth’s working class if elected as lieutenant governor next November.
Guzman, who has represented the 31st House of Delegates District since 2018, announced her campaign for the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election at the beginning of October.Read More
Northern Virginia lobbyist and consultant Puneet Ahluwalia is running for lieutenant governor to offer a fresh perspective in state politics and provide a pro-business mindset to help Virginians overcome the current economic challenges.
Originally from India, Ahluwalia announced his bid for the 2021 Republican lieutenant governor nomination in September and is one of many people who started campaigns for the position in the last couple months.Read More
Virginia State Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) says he wants to restore the Commonwealth as a bastion of business and help bring increased equity to education throughout the state if elected as lieutenant governor in 2021.
Davis, 47, announced his second run for the position back in September and was the first Republican candidate to enter the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, which will take place next November.Read More
Democratic House of Delegates member Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) announced his bid for the lieutenant governor position earlier this week, officially entering the 2021 race.
Rasoul, who has served as a state legislator since 2014, made the announcement Tuesday morning through a video posted to twitter.Read More
Virginia lieutenant governor candidate Lance Allen is determined to bring a new approach to state-level politics in the Commonwealth and offer Virginians with something that has been lacking: a politician who will listen to their problems.
Allen formally announced his entrance into the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election back in August, joining a handful of other Republican hopefuls in a pursuit to become the second-highest-ranking government official in the state.Read More
Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Sean Perryman does not want to use the position as a stepping stone or to be just another cog in the political machine. Instead, he is aiming to lead the Commonwealth by solving key issues currently facing the majority of Virginians.
“Sometimes people look at lieutenant governor as a role where if you sit quietly and don’t offend anyone then you can become governor. I have no interest in that,” Perryman said in an interview with The Virginia Star. “I am going to be very vocal on a set of policies and values that we should be championing, and let the chips fall where they may. I am not going to stifle myself or take a position to further political ambitions, I am going to do what I think is right.”Read More
Ten candidates have officially announced runs for the 2021 Virginia Lieutenant Governor (LG) primaries, and more are reported to be eyeing the seat. According to the Virginia Constitution, the LG’s primary role is the president of the Senate; however, he has no vote unless the Senate is tied.
Candidate and former Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Paul Goldman told The Virginia Star, “People are going to say, ‘If I get to be lieutenant governor, I’ll be the next governor in four years. That’s what they’re thinking. That’s what they’ve always thought.'”Read More
The Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor killed a bill on Wednesday that would have required employers to provide paid quarantine leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Bill 5116, sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), was passed by indefinitely by a vote of 14-Y 1-N.Read More