At Rally, Rep. Good Blasts Virginia Republicans for Negotiating on Abortion, Del. March Drafting Life-At Conception Legislation Amid Contentious 2023 Primary Battle

RICHMOND, Virginia – Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-05) held a rally on the Virginia Capitol grounds on Saturday afternoon to pressure Republican lawmakers to pursue a from-conception abortion ban, about two weeks after Governor Glenn Youngkin and leading pro-life lobbyist organization The Family Foundation said that they’d push for a 15-week pain threshold bill, due to the politically difficult environment in the General Assembly.

“The timeline of abortion should not be negotiated, abortion should not be negotiated, it should be eliminated,” Good said in his speech. “I’m sorry to say Republicans here in Richmond are the worst negotiators of all. You want to play poker with these folks. They show you what’s in their cards, they tell you the highest bid, and then they fold anyway.”

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In Family Foundation Webinar, Youngkin, Earle-Sears, Celebrate Dobbs Decision, But Don’t Expect Rapid Change in Virginia’s Abortion Laws

Governor Glenn Youngkin and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke in a Tuesday evening webinar where speakers highlighted the win for conservatives in the Dobbs decision, while also calling on pro-life supporters to vote, donate, and volunteer for Republicans in upcoming elections. 21-19 Democratic control of the Senate was a constant theme of the speakers, who sounded a note of caution about the speed of change Virginians should expect.

“Any bill that comes to my desk, I will sign happily and gleefully in order to protect life,” Youngkin said

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Youngkin Takes Final Action on 30 Bills, Signs Loudoun School Board Bill Without Requirement to Make Board Run Again

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed 23 bills and vetoed seven after the General Assembly voted to accept, accept in part, or reject Youngkin’s amendments to the original legislation. Although the Senate rejected Youngkin’s amendment to force the whole Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) to run again this year, Youngkin approved Delegate David Reid’s (D-Loudoun) underlying bill, originally created to facilitate beginning a staggered election cycle for the various seats on the board.

“Governor Youngkin has signed the unamended version of HB1138, bringing a peaceful closure to his attempt to undermine the duly elected members of Loudoun’s locally elected school board. This is a victory for free and fair elections across the entire Commonwealth,” Reid tweeted Friday.

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Virginia General Assembly Passes Bill Protecting Teachers Who Speak Out Against School Policy

While it was in session, the General Assembly passed a law protecting state and local government employees from being penalized by their employer for expressing their opinion about policy or proposals during public comment periods.  According to a Monday email update, The Family Foundation asked for the bill after Loudoun County teacher Tanner Cross was fired from his position after he spoke against the district’s proposed transgender policy.

“If you’re a science teacher, and you don’t believe in evolution, that’s fine. But your job requires you to teach it, so you have to teach it; but on your own time, if you want to say evolution is BS, you can do that and you can’t be penalized for it. But you have to do your job,” bill sponsor Education Committee Chair Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) told a committee in February. “I’ll use the other example, the Pledge [of Allegiance.] A teacher doesn’t believe in the Pledge, their job is when the day starts, as directed by the principal, to have their class stand up and say the Pledge. But on your own time, if you want to go out and speak against it, that’s your right. We can’t be penalized for it.”

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Conservative Organizations Launching Efforts to Influence Virginia Republican Policy in 2022 General Assembly

The Virginia Family Foundation announced its Vision for Virginia slate of policy priorities on Monday. That’s part of the organization’s push to influence legislators ahead of Virginia’s 2022 General Assembly session. The list highlights traditional conservative policies including traditional families, small government, and free markets.

“For the past several years Virginia’s government has walked away from time-honored principles, like religious freedom, individual liberty, and limited government, which can all be traced back to Virginia’s historic past,” President Victoria Cobb said in an email announcing the platform. “In Virginia, not only did we need new political leadership, we desperately needed a renewed vision for the people of Virginia to rally around.”

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Loudoun County School Board Approves Transgender Policy

The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 to approve a transgender policy on Wednesday evening, in the second day of a two-part meeting. A public hearing was held Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, many board members emphasized the significant amount of time at the state and local level dedicated to developing the policy in response to Virginia law. Board member Jeff Morse spoke at length in opposition to the policy. He and member John Beatty voted against the policy and tried to pass a motion to send the policy back to committee for more consideration.

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Family Foundation Lawsuit over Virginia Transgender Policy Has Hearing for Injunction

Two organizations asked the Lynchburg Circuit Court to issue a preliminary injunction against the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) temporarily blocking implementation of legally-mandated transgender policies in school boards across Virginia. On Wednesday, they argued that while a lawsuit over the policy proceeds, school boards are implementing the policies which, they said, could be harmful to children.

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Debates, Tours, Endorsements, and a Florida Stop: Virginia Candidates Battle for Nomination

The race for the GOP nomination for the top Virginia positions is coming to an end, leading to a debate, tours, and a trip to Florida. In the Democratic primary, early voting has already begun, but big nominations are still rolling in.

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Virginia Family Foundation Sues over New Transgender Public School Guidelines

The Family Foundation is suing the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) over its Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools. The model policies took effect March 6, 2021, and school boards must adopt policies consistent with the model by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. However, the Family Foundation says there are legal problems with the policies and that the VDOE did not properly address comments made during a legally required public comment phase.

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Governor Northam Approves Cultural Competency Requirement for Virginia Teacher’s Licenses

Governor Ralph Northam approved legislation on Thursday to require cultural competency training for educators to be licensed by the Virginia Board of Education. HB 1904, introduced by Delegate Clinton Jenkins (D-Suffolk), and companion SB 1196, introduced by Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton,) require that anyone seeking licensure or re-licensure must complete cultural competency training by the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Licenses with social science or history endorsements require additional training in African American history.

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Democrats Introduce Two House Bills Expanding Abortion Coverage

Virginia House Democrats have introduced two bills expanding healthcare coverage of abortions. HB 1922, introduced by Delegate Cia Price (D-Newport News) would expand Medicaid abortion coverage and require private employers who offer health coverage to cover abortions. HB 1896, introduced by Delegate Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville), removes a Virginia prohibition of abortion coverage under Obamacare.

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