On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.
DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states.
The Appomattox County Board of Supervisors declined to vote on a First Amendment Sanctuary resolution at a Monday night meeting. Multiple members of the board said that they share concerns over Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but they said the board does not have the authority to enforce the resolution or to protect Appomattox County citizens from state-level enforcement of the executive orders. With no one willing to second Supervisor John Hinkle’s motion to vote on the resolution, the motion died.
As Governor Ralph Northam’s latest executive order limiting event capacity to 10 people went into effect earlier this week, some Virginians protested the governor’s orders through public hearings and demonstrations.
Campbell County is a First Amendment Sanctuary, according to a resolution the Board of Supervisors (BOS) unanimously passed at a regular meeting on Tuesday.
“No Campbell County funds will be used to restrict the First Amendment,” the resolution states. “[No] County funds shall be expended to aid federal or state agencies in the restriction of said rights,” the resolution adds.