Progressive Wing of Virginia Democrat House Ousts Filler-Corn as Minority Leader

The highest-ranking member in the Democrat Party’s House of Delegates was ousted in an effort led by the progressive wing of her own party.

“I thank the people of Virginia and my colleagues in the House of Delegates for allowing me to serve as the first woman and first person of Jewish faith to serve as Speaker in the 403-year history of our Commonwealth — truly the honor of my life,” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said. “I was proud of all that we accomplished after taking the majority in 2019 and was willing to step up as Minority Leader once more to regain that majority. Our caucus is made up of 48 talented and diverse individuals and I look forward to working with them to retake the majority.”

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Progressive Wing of Virginia Democrat House Ousts Filler-Corn as Minority Leader

The highest-ranking member in the Democrat Party’s House of Delegates was ousted in an effort led by the progressive wing of her own party.

“I thank the people of Virginia and my colleagues in the House of Delegates for allowing me to serve as the first woman and first person of Jewish faith to serve as Speaker in the 403-year history of our Commonwealth — truly the honor of my life,” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said. “I was proud of all that we accomplished after taking the majority in 2019 and was willing to step up as Minority Leader once more to regain that majority. Our caucus is made up of 48 talented and diverse individuals and I look forward to working with them to retake the majority.”

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House of Delegates Passes Bill to Ban Consideration of Race in Governor’s Schools Admissions

RICHMOND, Virginia – The House of Delegates passed a bill banning consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in admissions to Virginia’s governor’s schools. That’s a reaction to controversy at Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School for Science and Technology, where officials instituted a merit lottery to try to expand the largely Asian American student base to underrepresented groups while still maintaining a high standard. Conservatives saw that as part of a broader wave of watered-down academic standards in the name of equity, and Republicans campaigned in 2021 on restoring Virginia’s educational standards of excellence.

Delegates debated HB 127 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Delegate Richard (Rip) Sullivan (D-Fairfax) said he and his wife spent years as proud TJ Colonials parents.

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Chicago Public Schools Forced to Cancel School After Teachers Union Votes to Move to Remote Learning

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to move to remote learning Wednesday, citing concerns over safety amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the union said in a press release.

The CTU’s elected House of Delegates voted in favor (88%) of a resolution to return to remote education amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, citing a lack of safety guarantees, a union press release said. In the membership-wide vote, 73% of CTU’s members voted in favor of virtual learning, passing the two-thirds threshold required to enact the resolution.

The resolution outlines plans to work remotely until Jan. 18 or until the current COVID-19 wave falls below last year’s threshold for school closures, according to the resolution.

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‘Who Better to Help Make That Change But Me?’: Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect Winsome Sears Says Democrats Are Losing Grip on Two Key Demographics

Winsome Sears, the Republican lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia, told The New York Times that Democrats are at risk of losing Black and immigrant voters.

As an immigrant from Jamaica and the first black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia, Sears told the NYT she was the perfect person to kickstart her demographic’s political realignment in America.

“The message is important,” Sears told the outlet. “But the messenger is equally important.”

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Virginia Democrats Concede Control of House of Delegates, Completing GOP Election Sweep

Eileen Filler-Corn

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates conceded control of the chamber to Republicans several days after the state’s off-season elections saw massive Republican gains in the state.

Democratic Del. Eileen Filler-Corn publicly announced the transfer following the concession of Democratic Del. Martha Mugler in a hotly contested race in the state’s Hampton Roads region.

“While the results of the election were not in our favor, our work for the people of Virginia goes on,” Filler-Corn said in a statement.

Democrats over the past two years had wielded majorities in the state House and Senate, as well as control of the state’s governorship, to pass a large package of progressive policies, including marijuana decriminalization and gun control.

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Commentary: McAuliffe’s War on Parents

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe thought his run at a second non-consecutive term for Virginia’s executive mansion would be a cake-walk. It would no doubt set him up for a serious run for president in 2024 or 2028. And why not? Virginia Democrats have won 14 statewide races in a row dating back to 2012 by ever increasing margins. VA DEMS won a House of Delegates majority in 2019, just three years after Republicans commanded a super-majority. They also captured the state senate in 2019. 

Republicans nominated an unknown business executive with no political experience, Glenn Youngkin for governor after a very contentious caucus selection process. McAuliffe meanwhile eviscerated several up and coming African-American candidates in a blow-out primary win. 

With all the money he could ever spend in a blue state that now rivals California, what could go wrong? 

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Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Prisoner Redistricting Law

A law that requires a prison inmate’s most recent address to be used for the purpose of redistricting will remain in effect after the Virginia Supreme Court denied a petition.

Legislation that went into effect last year changed how the prison population was considered when redistricting maps. Before the change, an inmate was counted as a resident of the locality in which the prison was located, but the new law requires he or she be counted as a resident of his or her most recent address, before incarceration, if that person was a resident of Virginia.

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82nd House District Candidate Cries Foul over Location and Time of Firehouse Primary

Kathy Owens and Anne Marie Tata

The 82nd House of Delegates District Republicans are holding a firehouse primary, and one candidate’s leveraging of the rules has her opponent crying foul. The seat, which is currently occupied by the Republican nominee for Attorney General, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), will allow Republicans to choose between Anne Marie Tata and Kathy Owens for the next Delegate from the 82nd District.

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Virginia’s Northam Seeks Greater COVID-19 Executive Authority in Proposed Budget Amendments

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed 18 amendments to the budget legislation passed by the General Assembly, which includes giving the executive branch more authority to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I also propose three language amendments to ensure our ability to continue responding to needs related to the COVID pandemic by giving agencies the flexibility to respond and the authority to address the opportunities presented by the federal funding such as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), until we can address the matter fully at a special session,” Northam said in a letter to the House of Delegates.

One amendment to the budget would grant the director of the Department of Planning and Budget the authority to direct the additional Medicaid revenue from the recent federal stimulus plan to current services. Another would grant the superintendent of public instruction the authority to issue temporary flexibility or waivers for deadlines and requirements that cannot be met because of the COVID-19 state of emergency and school closures.

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Virginia Politician Pushes for Reparations Through Scholarships to Public Universities

Democratic Virginia Delegate David Reid has introduced legislation, passed by the House of Delegates, which would require some public universities to provide reparations to ancestors of slaves who worked at the universities.

The legislation, ”Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program,” now awaits a vote in the state senate.

It would require a number of universities to provide reparations. Those universities include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute and the College of William and Mary.

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Virginia House Passes ‘Good Apples Bill’ Requiring Officers to Report Misconduct to Supervisors

The House of Delegates passed Delegate Mark Levine’s (D-Arlington) “Good Apples Bill,” which requires law enforcement officers to report acts of wrongdoing committed by other on-duty officers. It also requires officers to render aid if they witness someone suffering a serious bodily injury, and it expands a ban on biased-based profiling to include profiling by sexual orientation. In a vote Wednesday, HB 1948 passed 57-42, with three Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the bill.

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Virginia House of Delegates Blocks 45-Day Regular Session

The Virginia House of Delegates voted against extending the regular session from 30 to 45 days on the first day of the regular session. The move by House Republicans to block extending the session means that the Democrat-controlled General Assembly will have a short amount of time to handle standard government business and check off items from their progressive wish list.

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Youngest Black Legislator In America Won on a Platform of ‘God, Guns, and Babies’

by Evie Fordham   The West Virginia House of Delegates convened Wednesday with a record-setter in its midst – freshman Del. Caleb L. Hanna, who became the nation’s youngest black legislator following his election at age 19 in November 2018. “I always knew that I was not satisfied with the…

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