Del. Anderson and VA-02 Candidate Altman Seeking Injunction Against Barnes and Noble

Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) is seeking an injunction against Barnes & Noble because the retailer doesn’t limit access to books with mature content. On Wednesday, a judge found probable cause that Gender Queer: A Memoir and A Court of Mist and Fury are obscene as part of a lawsuit…

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Youngkin and Virginia Department of Education Release Report on Virginia’s Achievement Gaps

RICHMOND, Virginia – Governor Glenn Youngkin’s education administration released a report on the heading of Virginia’s education. The release of the report is a major moment for Youngkin, who came to power riding a wave of parental frustration with education.

“Today is a moment in time for all of us to recognize we must change direction,” Youngkin said in the press conference. “We are not serving all of Virginia’s children and we must. We want to be the best in education. We should be the best in education. And the data that was compiled ans shared with you today suggests that we have a lot of work to do to be the best.”

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Reps. Wittman, Luria Concerned About Biden Administration’s 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan

Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) are concerned that the Biden administration’s FY 2023 spending plan and an associated 30-year shipbuilding plan will increase risk. In a Wednesday hearing of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, Wittman and Luria questioned officials about the impact of the administration’s budget.

Wittman, the subcommittee’s ranking member, also submitted a scathing written statement to the official record, criticizing the shipbuilding plan, saying he would reject an “anemic shipbuilding request,” that plans to retire vessels, seeks to not maintain the naval aviation plan, would “eviscerate our mine countermeasure warfighting capabilities,” “irreparably harm our nation’s ability to support future forcible entry options” by reducing amphibious forces, and would “waste significant taxpayer’s monies.”

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Youngkin Announces Alternative Hiring Process for People with Disabilities

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.”

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Company Focused on Viral Diagnostics and Treatment Expanding in New Prince William County Biotech Park

Virongy Biosciences, Inc., which develops anti-viral drugs and viral diagnostics, is expanding after recently relocating to the newly-opened Northern Virginia Bioscience Center in Prince William County. The $471,000 expansion may create up to 70 new jobs, and the company will use the site to develop diagnostics aimed at COVID-19 variants and other viruses. The announcement received praise from state and local officials.

“Prince William County has emerged as a hub for the life sciences industry, offering the infrastructure, R and D assets, and talent to attract and retain innovative biotech firms like Virongy,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a press release announcing the expansion.

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Sec. of Finance Cummings Says Virginia Recovery Lags Behind Other Southern States

Virginia’s April revenues were strong, largely thanks to a shift in the tax due date, Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. He said Virginia is under-performing in recovery after the start of the pandemic compared to some southern states. Cummings downplayed concerns about a…

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Virginia Department of Education Hosting Public Engagement Sessions Amid Restart of Math Standards Review

The Virginia Department of Education is announcing six public engagement sessions in May and June as it restarts its review of the Mathematics Standards of Learning.

Virginia is required to update the standards every seven years, with the next review due to be completed in 2023. But Governor Glenn Youngkin aborted the effort begun in 2020 after the Mathematic Pathways proposal was widely criticized by Republicans, who said it would gut advanced math programs.

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Youngkin, Miyares Announce Violent Crime Task Force

Governor Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced a violent crime task force composed of officials from the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Virginia State Police. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bob Mosier will lead the task force alongside Chief Deputy Attorney General Chuck Slemp.

“There is a clear recognition of a violent crime crisis in Virginia and my administration is committed to joining with community leaders, law enforcement, and Virginians around solutions with the Violent Crime task force,” Youngkin said in the Monday announcement.

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Virginia Scores Second, North Carolina First in Spring 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Rating

Virginia’s hospital network is second in the nation for safety, according to Leapfrog’s Spring 2022 ranking — down one place since Fall 2021. North Carolina moved up from second in the Fall 2021 ranking.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association noted that Virginia is still improving, with 59.2 percent of the Commonwealth’s hospitals receiving an “A” grade in the latest ranking after 56.2 percent received the grade in the fall.

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Spanberger, Youngkin Respond to Baby Formula Shortage

Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Governor Glenn Youngkin issued separate responses to a worsening baby formula shortage caused in part by supply chain problems and in part by a recall of product from major manufacturer Abbott Laboratories. After a February recall, the manufacturer’s Sturgis, Mi. plant has been closed during a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation.

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Spanberger issued separate press releases highlighting her concerns about the shortage and pressing the Biden administration for solutions. Spanberger is expected to face a serious GOP challenge for reelection this year.

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In Virginia Tech Commencement, Youngkin Highlights Need for Mentors, Moral Compass, and ‘Grace in Public Discourse’

In a commencement speech at Virginia Tech, Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke about the importance of mentors and a moral compass while criticizing “group-think” in higher education. Youngkin is the ninth consecutive Virginia governor to give the school’s commencement address in the first year of his term, according to a March announcement.

“I firmly believe that each of you has been divinely created for a purpose,” Youngkin said in the Friday speech. “If you unlock the mysteries of your gifts, you will unlock your purpose. In society today, there’s such a great emphasis on achieving happiness. Yale University even pioneered a class on finding happiness. But all the great thinkers that I have read, have said, and actually I’ve learned from my own experiences, that happiness is fleeting. It’s finding purpose that’s truly sustaining.”

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Virginia Attorney General Miyares Signs Letter Asking U.S. Attorney General Garland to Protect U.S. Justices

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and 24 other state attorneys general signed a letter telling U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce federal law, which they say prohibits demonstrations outside U.S. Supreme Court justices’ homes.

“Following last week’s leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion activists have begun protesting not just outside the Supreme Court, but outside the Justices’ homes, in the hope of pressuring the Justices to change their votes. As a former federal judge and the current head of the Department of Justice, you must surely appreciate the unique risks to both judges and the rule of law when judges are targeted at their homes. That is why Congress has long barred ‘picket [Ing] or parade [Ing]’ near a judge’s home ‘with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice,'” states the letter, written by Alabama Attorney General Steve Miller.

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Virginia’s April Revenues Up, Budget Compromise Expected by End of May

A new April revenue report shows that Virginia’s revenues have again exceeded forecasts. Governor Glenn Youngkin’s office published the report Thursday. He highlighted the good news to help make the case for a budget that includes broad tax relief and some additional spending, with behind-the-scenes budget negotiations ongoing.

“Virginia’s economy continues to show encouraging signs of growth. We’re growing jobs, growing paychecks, and more people are joining the workforce,” Youngkin said in a press release.

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Virginia Beach School Board Removes ‘Gender Queer’ from Libraries; Other Books Stay

Virginia Beach School Board Chair Carolyn Rye is directing staff to remove Gender Queer: a Memoir from school libraries, following the recommendation of a work group.

“I think the removal of this book is a win for parents and students,” Board Member Victoria Manning told The Virginia Star.

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Youngkin, Hogan Ask U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to Enforce Federal Law About Protesting in Front of Judge’s Residences; Federal Prosecutor Says, ‘We Are Aware of the Situation’

Responding to protests in front of U.S. Supreme Court justices’ homes, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland citing U.S. code about protests to influence judges. They ask Garland to mobilize resources to help state and local law enforcement protect U.S. Supreme Court justices and enforce 18 U.S. Code Section 1507.

“Federal law prohibits picketing the home of a judge with the aim to influence the judge’s decision making process,” Youngkin and Hogan wrote, arguing that the protests are an effort to influence justices to change their minds after a draft opinion showed the Court was on the brink of reversing Roe v. Wade.

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Bullet Found on Sixth Floor of Attorney General’s Office; Deputy Attorney General Says ‘No Indication’ the Office or Employees Were Specifically Targeted

Housekeepers for the Office of the Attorney General found a bullet on the sixth floor on Monday evening. Officers responding to the call found the bullet and a small hole in a window, according to Virginia Capitol Police spokesman Officer Joe Macenka. “There is no indication that this incident was…

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In Early House District 47 Virginia GOP Primary Battle, Del. Williams Attacks Del. March over 2019 Abortion Comments

Freshman Delegate Marie March (R-Floyd) was ranked by both conservative and progressive advocates as one of the most conservative legislators in 2022, but freshman Delegate Wren Williams (R-Patrick) recently called March a “Pro-Choice Liberal” and is highlighting a 2019 Facebook post from March about abortion. Both candidates are fighting for the GOP nomination for House of Delegates District 47, with elections scheduled for 2023.

“When the SCOTUS ruling is passed down, the balance of Life will be in the General Assembly,” Williams said in a May 6 press release a few days after reports that the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of reversing Roe v. Wade
“We can’t trust Pro-Choice Squishes like March.”

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VA-07 Candidate Reeves Launches TV Ad Highlighting Service, Criticizing Biden, and Saying He’ll Finish What Trump Started

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is launching his first television ad in the VA-07 GOP nomination battle.

“My whole life has been about service: serving God on missions abroad, serving in the army and as a narcotics detective here at home. Putting people first is something Joe Bide doesn’t know a thing about,” Reeves said in the ad. “Inflation, immigration, and Ukraine: he’s got no plan.”

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Del. Roem Cites Republican LGBTQ Legislation in Campaign Announcement for Senate District 30

Delegate Danica Roem (D-Manassas) is running for Senate District 30, a newly-created district that slightly favors Democrats in the Virginia Public Access Project ranking. In an announcement video, Roem, who is transgender, highlighted Republican-led legislation on LGBTQ issues.

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Virginia Atty Gen Miyares Offers No Comment on Group of Republican Attorneys General Withdrawing from National Association

A small group of Republican attorneys general have announced that they’re withdrawing from the National Association of Attorneys General(NAAG), but Virginia AG Jason Miyares’ office hasn’t responded to questions asking if he is also planning to withdraw from the NAAG.

“While we have been a driving force for NAAG’s success – both financially and on key issues – the Associations leftward shift over the past half decade has become intolerable,” states a letter signed last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

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In Regent University Commencement, Youngkin Criticizes Higher-Ed Conformity; Earle-Sears Named Alumna of the Year

In a commencement speech at Regent University, Governor Glenn Youngkin told graduates to follow two guides: mentors and a “compass that points us in the direction of core values that define us.” He told them that they were not called to comfort, and criticized conformity in academia.

“Sometimes we are called to speak up, to say unpopular things, to invite ridicule and scorn. If I could offer one critique of higher education today, and I mean this in the most global sense, it’s that there’s too much group-think, too much conformity to modern doctrine, too much intolerance that rears itself in the form of a canceled culture,” Youngkin said.

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After Bad Fiscal Year 2022 First Quarter Report Boeing Announces Plan to Move Headquarters to Arlington

Boeing is moving its global headquarters to its campus in Arlington, and plans to develop a research and technology center to focus on areas including cyber security, autonomous operations, and software and systems engineering.

“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia. The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in the Thursday announcement.

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Miyares Leads 19 Other AGs in Criticism of Disinformation Governance Board

Attorney General Jason Miyares is leading 19 other attorneys general in opposition to the newly announced federal Disinformation Governance Board launched by the Department of Homeland Security. The recently unveiled board has earned criticism from conservatives this week; in a fact sheet, the DHS explains that its role of protecting the U.S.’ security extends to “threats exacerbated by disinformation.”

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Youngkin Tells State Employees to Return to Onsite Work by July 5

Virginia’s state employees must return to on-site work by July 5 unless they have a new telework agreement approved, according to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s new telework policy.

“After listening to the needs of Virginians, discussing solutions with agency heads across government, and closely monitoring the pandemic, we are excited to welcome our employees in-person this summer. We know that creative, innovative, and effective solutions for all Virginians occur with regular, in-person interaction by our incredible workforce here in the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a press release.

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VA-02 Primary: Trump Invites Jarome Bell Onstage; Sen. Kiggans Launches First TV Ad

Former President Donald Trump brought VA-02 congressional candidate Jarome Bell on stage at a rally on Monday.

“So Jarome, what are you running for? What and where,” Trump asked, according to a video of the event, where attendees vied to draw Trump’s attention to their candidacies.

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Miyares Doesn’t Comment on Four Attorneys General Leaving National Association

Republican attorneys general from Texas, Missouri, and Montana have announced that they are withdrawing from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), but Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Virginian TurboTax Customers to Get $3.5 Million in Settlement of Lawsuit over Claims That the Product Was Free

Virginia TurboTax customers are set to get about $3.5 million in a settlement of the lawsuit, which said that the tax service provider deceived some consumers into paying for services despite ads saying tax services were free.

“TurboTax took advantage of and deceived Virginians. I’m proud of the role my office played to secure substantial relief for the Virginia consumers that TurboTax misled. My office will continue to aggressively go after bad actors that hurt Virginia consumers, because they must be held accountable,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a Wednesday announcement.

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Youngkin Signs Legislation Aimed at Identifying Laws, Regulations, Policies to Change to Address CDL Driver Shortage

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Delegate Israel O’Quinn’s (R-Washington) HB 553 to help address a CDL driver shortage in a ceremony Wednesday. In February, O’Quinn said that shortage is contributing to broader supply chain problems.

“While we can’t control what goes on in 49 other states, we can control what goes on in Virginia,” O’Quinn said in a subcommittee meeting.

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GOP VA-07 Candidate Crystal Vanuch Wants to Focus on Economy, Border, and Supporting Law Enforcement

Crystal Vanuch is running for the GOP nomination in Virginia’s seventh congressional district, and wants to bring a focus on six issues: the economy and energy independence; border security; constitutional protections in the wake of COVID-19 mandates; public safety; transportation; and veterans issues.

“As soon as I get to Congress, I’m going to be pushing forward specific things to address the economy,” Vanuch told The Virginia Star. “So from a budget perspective, and an American policy perspective, the number one thing I want to do is deregulate. The Biden administration signed executive orders to increase regulation and undid a lot of the Trump-era regulations that loosened up the economy.”

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Circuit Court Dismisses One of the Convictions Against Father Arrested at June 2021 Loudoun School Board Meeting

The Loudoun County Circuit Court dismissed one of the convictions Scott Smith was facing after being arrested at a June 2021 Loudoun County School Board meeting. Smith, represented by State Senator Bill Stanley’s (R-Franklin) legal firm, asked the judge to recuse Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj from the case; a written opinion from the judge is pending after Monday’s court appearance.

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Virginia’s Office of the Children’s Ombudsman Opens to Oversee Social Services

Virginia’s Office of the Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) officially launched Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced. The office provides oversight of Virginia’s child welfare system and can receive complaints about the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS).

“I am excited that, after several months of preparation and with the support of the Administration and our partner agencies, information about the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman and the services we provide will finally be made publicly available to Virginians across the Commonwealth. My staff and I are looking forward to helping families navigate the child welfare system and ensuring that child safety and family preservation remain top priorities for our local and state agencies that serve Virginia’s children and families,” OCO Director Eric Reynolds said in an administration press release.

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School Choice About Options, Not Dismantling Public Schools, Republicans Say

HERNDON, Virginia – Panelists at the Republican Advance told attendees at a school choice breakout session that the goal of GOP efforts is to get tax dollars to follow children even when they leave public schools, providing more opportunities for families. Panelists described the push for school choice as a way to empower parents and use capitalism-style competition to motivate improvement in public schools without dismantling the system.

“We need to make sure we’re not so focused on school choice, which we should be, I mean that is one of the pathways to a better education, but focusing on the fact that we need to find ways to better educate our children should be the primary goal,” former Loudoun County School Board member Jill Turgeon said at the Saturday breakout session.

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Youngkin Celebrates First 100 Days in Office

Governor Glenn Youngkin is celebrating his first 100 days in office with a video highlighting key accomplishments including an executive order banning divisive concepts in schools; signing a bipartisan school mask mandate ban; bipartisan legislation protecting cats and dogs; and welcoming businesses to Virginia.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Virginia over the first 100 days and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together in a short period of time. I will continue to work on behalf of all Virginians to lower the cost of living, keep our communities safe, make government work for the people again and restore academic excellence in our schools,” the governor said in a Thursday press release.

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South Dakota Gov. Noem Introduces Herself to Virginia GOP Insiders on Second Day of Advance

HERNDON, Virginia – Attendees at the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Advance heard speeches from two GOP governors who are talked about as potential presidential or vice presidential candidates. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin gave the luncheon address on Saturday, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem gave a dinner speech that was part self-introduction, part exhortation to RPV insiders.”I cannot thank you enough for what you did here in Virginia last year,” Noem said. “I talk about you everywhere I go.”

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Lt. Gov. Earle-Sears Kicks Off 2022 RPV Advance with Stories from Her First General Assembly Session

HERNDON, Virginia – Republican Party of Virginia faithful are gathered at a Hilton outside Washington, D.C., to build on the momentum of their 2021 wins and help their 2022 congressional candidates. Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears kicked off the Advance on Friday at a reception held by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women.

Earle-Sears regaled the crowd with stories from the recent General Assembly session. Governor Glenn Youngkin once confused Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) with Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton,) leading Lucas to rib Youngkin about it on Twitter.

“And then a curious thing happened: I started mixing her up with Mamie,” Earle-Sears said to laughter. “I would call, ‘The Senator from Hampton, Senator Lucas.’ They got mad.”

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Virginia Senate Blocks Youngkin Effort to Force Whole Loudoun School Board to Run Again

The Virginia Senate defeated Governor Glenn Youngkin’s effort to require the entire Loudoun County School Board to run for re-election this year. Youngkin had amended Delegate David Reid’s (D-Loudoun) HB 1138, originally created to facilitate beginning a staggered election cycle for the various seats on the board. Earlier in April, Youngkin amended that bill, after broad Republican outrage over the district administration’s handling of sexual assaults and school equity initiatives.

In debate during Wednesday’s veto session, Reid warned about the precedent set by allowing the governor to shorten elected officials’ terms.

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Virginia State Sen. Reeves Wants GOP Nomination to Restore Congress to Regular Order, Support Military, and Limit Spending

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. Reeves said his experience in the General Assembly gives him the skills needed to enact his priorities: bringing Congress back to following the traditional legislative process, limiting spending, and making sure the military has necessary resources.

“I’d like to see us get back to regular order. I think it’s important for the country that Congress get back to a regular budget, not just a continuing resolution, on funding. We’ve got to get to where we have what’s called a single object rule, which means we can’t have these three- and five-thousand page bills where everything’s stacked into one thing,” Reeves told The Virginia Star.

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Veto Day: Youngkin’s Vetoes Stand, but Senate Blocks Gas Tax Holiday and Some Amendments to Legislation

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted to kill Governor Glenn Youngkin’s gas tax holiday proposal, launching the General Assembly’s veto session. Later in the day legislators spent hours voting on Youngkin’s various amendments and vetoes to their legislation.

Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) spoke against the gas tax holiday bill, and said that the phased gas tax increases in 2020 were part of a bipartisan effort to provide long term transportation funding solutions.

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Pro-Life Activists March with Youngkin

RICHMOND, Virginia – Pro-life advocates rallied outside the Virginia capitol on Wednesday, the same day legislators returned to the capitol to consider Governor Glenn Youngkin’s changes to their legislation. Several Republican General Assembly members joined the rally, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke to the crowd.

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Miyares Honors Victims’ Advocates, Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

RICHMOND, Virginia – Attorney General Jason Miyares honored eight people for their service to crime victims in the fifth annual Unsung Heroes Award Ceremony on Tuesday. The ceremony was one of several stops Miyares is making this week in a tour commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Miyares said a business owner once told him, “It’s really easy to wash away graffiti. It’s really hard to wash away fear.”

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Youngkin Announces DCJS Funds to Reimburse Public Schools for Creating Detailed Digital Maps for First Responders

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $6.5 million in funding to support a digital mapping project of public schools for used by administration and first responders in emergencies. In the Monday evening announcement, Youngkin also touted his recent approval of Delegate Rob Bell’s (R-Albemarle) HB 741, which requires detailed floor plans to be included in already-required public school safety audits.

“This legislation and the Digital Mapping Program for Virginia K–12 Schools will help ensure the safety of all students, staff, and visitors who enter our schools,” Youngkin said in a press release. “It will likewise promote the safety of the brave men and women who keep our children safe.”

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Reverse Appellate Court Decision Allowing Thomas Jefferson High School to Use Controversial Admissions Policy

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition that would have reversed an appellate court’s decision that is allowing Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School for Science and Technology to continue using its controversial admissions policy for the incoming freshman class.

After the court’s Monday anouncement, Fairfax County Public Schools praised the decision in a statement.

“We continue to believe our new plan for TJ admissions is merit-based and race-blind,” Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky said. “We are confident that after considering the facts and the law, the appeals court will decide that our plan meets all the legal requirements and guarantees every qualified student will have the chance of being admitted to the finest public science and technology high school in the country.”

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Running for Congress, PWC Supervisor Yesli Vega Wants to Focus on Border Security, Government Spending, and the Labor Shortage

Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega was inspired to be a law enforcement officer after a friend was killed and her brother was injured, victims of an MS-13 gang initiation, and she wants to bring an immigration-focused law-and-order approach if she’s elected to Congress. She’s seeking the GOP nomination in the seventh congressional district.

She shared her top priorities with The Virginia Star: “First and foremost, it’s immigration and border security.”

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Arlington Approves Plan for Amazon’s HQ2 Development

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously Saturday to approve plans for development at Amazon’s HQ2, including the Helix, an up to 350-foot high spiral-shaped tower with indoor meeting spaces and a walking paths on the outside. The PenPlace plan also includes three 22-story office buildings, public park space, and retail…

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Budget Compromise Not Expected in Time for Veto Session

Glenn Youngkin

The General Assembly will be back in town Wednesday to vote on Governor Glenn Youngkin’s amendments and vetoes to legislation passed earlier this year, but are unlikely to have a budget compromise ready for approval by then.

“Informally, the chairs are going back and forth a little bit, and we keep getting briefed, but we have not really gotten to a point where we can do a final negotiation, if you will. There’s still significant differences there in what we we’re working on,” conferee Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) told The Virginia Star on Thursday. “We’ve got some tentative agreements, I guess you’d say.

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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Albemarle School Board over 2019 Anti-Racism Policy

Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell said Friday he would dismiss a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board; in the lawsuit, a group of parents argued that anti-racist school policy required “the indoctrination of Albemarle students in an ideology that denigrates students—all students—based on their race.

“The policy violates students’ civil rights by treating them differently based on race and by compelling them to affirm and support ideas contrary to their deeply held moral and religious beliefs,” said a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing the plaintiffs.

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Youngkins and Kindergarteners Plant Trees for Earth Day

POCAHONTAS STATE PARK, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady of Virginia Suzanne Youngkin planted two Eastern Redbud trees with the help of Patrick Copeland Elementary School kindergarteners in a Friday Earth Day celebration. Glenn Youngkin told the students the trees would help filter water, impacting the James River.

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Virginia Employment Commission Agrees to Pay $200,000 in Legal Fees After End of Lawsuit over Unemployment Insurance Claims Backlog

Inside DMV, people standing in line

The Virginia Employment Commission has agreed to pay $200,000 in legal fees to organizations who led a 2021 lawsuit over delays in employment claims processing.

In a press release, the VEC said, “After the May 25, 2021, settlement, Legal Aid subsequently sought an award of attorneys’ fees on February 1, 2022, for its work in connection with the case. After a mediation on April 20, 2022, regarding the issue of attorneys’ fees, the parties have agreed to resolve the matter for $200,000. This amount is less than the total amount of attorneys’ fees sought by Legal Aid in this case.”

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Youngkin Amends Legislation to Protect Religious Expression; Del. Shin Says He Hijacked Her Bill

Delegate Irene Shin (D-Fairfax) called Governor Glenn Youngkin a “wolf in fleece clothing” after he amended her bill to protect people wearing religious items against discrimination. Youngkin’s amendments to HB 1063 expand the definition of “religion” in the legislation. The bill passed out of the General Assembly with unanimous support, but the legislature will meet next week to vote on Youngkin’s amendments to the bill and other legislation.

“And in the face of this bipartisan collaboration, the Governor has drastically changed the scope and intent of this bill and warped into something much more insidious,” Shin said in a press release Wednesday. “The practical implications of the Governor’s amendment would be to create legal protections for discriminatory and bigoted policies, acts and beliefs under the guise of religion. The fact that this Administration would co-opt a universally approved bipartisan measure designed to ensure equal protections and weaponize it to advance their agenda of discrimination and division, while sadly unsurprising, is still appalling.”

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Google Announces More Investment in Its Virginia Facilities, Plans to Be a Lab Schools Partner

Governor Glenn Youngkin joined Google officials at the company’s location in Reston, Virginia, where Google announced $300 million more in investment into its Virginia presence. The company also announced a $250,000 grant to CodeVA to partner with stakeholders to create computer science lab schools; additionally, the company will partner with Virginia’s community colleges to provide professional certifications.

“Google’s investment and partnership announcement is a timely and exciting development for the Commonwealth. Code with Google and CodeVA will prepare the next generation of Virginia’s students for careers in computer science. As governor, I am committed to creating workforce development opportunities, expanding our computer science opportunities for Virginia’s students, and reestablishing high expectations in education,” Youngkin said in a press release.

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