Federal Prosecutors: Envigo Plans to Sell 2,200 More Beagles

After a court decided to allow dog-breeder-for-testing Envigo to fulfill existing contracts to sell its dogs amid an ongoing federal lawsuit, 29 Virginia legislators and federal prosecutors are working to block the sale of what prosecutors say is 2,200 beagles, including 1,200 to international customers.

In a motion for clarification U.S. prosecutors filed Friday, prosecutors suggest that Envigo misled the court about the number of dogs it intended to sell.

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Virginia Budget Includes Some Wins for Both Businesses and Workers

Virginia’s FY 2023-2024 budget includes some wins for both businesses and workers, according to pro-business organization NFIB Virginia and pro-labor organization Virginia AFL-CIO. General Assembly negotiators have emphasized the compromise nature of the budget, but flashy proposals on tax relief, education, and law enforcement have gotten most of the attention.

“Governor Youngkin and legislators agreed on many issues that are important to Virginia’s small business, including full funding of the commonwealth’s unemployment insurance program, but we’re disappointed that so some key issues didn’t make the final cut, like the three-month suspension of the fuel tax,” NFIB Virginia State Director Julia Hammond said in a press release.

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U.S. Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Makes Virginia an Abortion Haven, Triggers Wave of Political Statements

The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade launched a wave of statements from Virginia politicians on Friday. Abortion remains legal in Virginia with some limitations, and split control of Virginia’s government leaves both Republicans and Democrats seeking to use the issue to motivate their own voter base. Pro-choice protesters held multiple rallies across Virginia on Friday, with more planned for the weekend.

Governor Glenn Youngkin has largely been quiet about abortion, but on Friday he released two statements reacting to the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. Additionally, Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said Youngkin is pushing for a 15-week abortion ban.

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Virginia Republicans Highlight Irony of Biden’s Call for a Gas Tax Suspension Less than a Week After Senate Kills Similar Youngkin Proposal

President Joe Biden is calling for a three-month suspension of the federal gas tax less than a week after Virginia Senate Democrats and one Republican killed Governor Glenn Youngkin’s efforts to enact a suspension of Virginia’s fuel tax. Virginia Republicans took to social media on Wednesday to react to Biden’s…

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Youngkin Rallies at 2021 Campaign Location to Sign Budget

HENRICO, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin held a campaign-style rally to ceremonially sign Virginia’s Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. On Tuesday, Youngkin spoke from the aisles of the Tom Leonard’s grocery store where he filmed a grocery tax-related campaign ad and where he held one of his final rallies during the campaign.

“Nine months ago we were right here with many of you, and we in fact were talking about the impact that rising cost of groceries were have on families,” Youngkin said to a crowd of supporters, reporters, former GOP candidates, and current GOP politicians standing next to bins of produce.

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General Assembly Kills Gas Tax Holiday, Hyde Amendment, but Pass Partial Lab School Expansion in FY 23-24 Budget

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Virginia General Assembly approved many of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s budget amendments on Friday, but in mostly-partisan votes, killed his efforts to expand a ban on using state tax dollars on abortions, and to create a three-month gas tax holiday. Additionally, House Republicans and Democrats killed an amendment that would have made it a felony to protest outside courts and justices’ homes to influence proceedings.

Youngkin criticized the defeat of the gas tax holiday on Twitter: “Democrats failed to put politics aside for the good of Virginians — for a third time.”

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Youngkin Budget Amendments Include Gas Tax Holiday, Ban on Taxpayer-Funded Abortions, and Law Against Picketing Justices

Governor Glenn Youngkin is sending 35 budget amendments to the General Assembly to approve on Friday, including a gas tax holiday, a ban on using state Medicaid funds for some abortions, and a law that would make it a class six felony to picket or demonstrate outside a courthouse or residences of justices and judges. The Democratic Senate is expected to block of Youngkin’s controversial changes, but eyes are on Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) to see if he’ll vote with Republicans to approve the abortion funding ban.

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Virginia’s May Revenues Exceed May 2021

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday that Virginia’s May revenue reports are 9.9 percent higher than May 2021. That’s good news for the governor, who is imminently expected to release amendments to the budget already passed by the General Assembly. Legislators will return Friday to vote on Youngkin’s changes.

“This report confirms that the time is now to deliver meaningful tax cuts to Virginia families who are getting crushed by five dollar gas and record-high inflation,” Youngkin said in a press release

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Virginia Budget Proposal Includes $3 Billion in Education Spending, Including Lab Schools

House Republicans are touting $3 billion of direct aid for education in the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget that Governor Glenn Youngkin is currently reviewing. Key education items include over $1 billion in grants and loans for school construction and modernization, and two five-percent raises for teachers and other state employees. It also includes $45 million for school resource officers.

House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) said education spending in the budget is higher than pre-recession levels, even accounting for current inflation levels.

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Virginia Gov. Youngkin Receives Budget

Governor Glenn Youngkin formally received the budget on Thursday, launching a seven-day timeline to review the budget and amend or veto parts of the bill, but the current budget ends at the end of June, creating a tight timeline.

The budget with his changes must be available for 48 hours before the General Assembly votes on it.

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Senate Minority Leader Saslaw Kills Washington Commanders Stadium Negotiations After Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s Comments About January 6

A bill to create an incentive to bring the Washington Commanders NFL team to Virginia is dead after months of accumulating concerns over tax breaks, traffic, the team’s brand quality, and its controversial leadership. On Thursday, bill sponsor Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) told The Washington Post that the final issue was Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s comments about the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol.

Del Rio had tweeted about 2020’s “summer of riots,” and in followup comments recorded by NBC Washington, he said, “Businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re not gonna talk about — we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards.”

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Youngkin Holds Ceremonial Signing of Legislation to Block Human Trafficking

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.

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Del. Dawn Adams: Budget Legalizes Marijuana Retail ‘Straight Up’

Delegate Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) was among a bipartisan group of seven delegates who voted against the budget on Wednesday. Adams criticized the Youngkin administration’s policies for state employees, but focused on language in the budget proposal that fails to adequately regulate THC in retail marijuana.

“We are now legalizing retail marijuana straight up. That’s what we’re doing. It’s just we’re going to call it hemp. And you can call it hemp, but it’s marijuana, and specifically until you have regulations, that does of marijuana that is now legal in retail stores can be anything as long as they put it on the package,” Adams, a nurse practitioner, said in a speech to the House of Delegates.

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City of Richmond Officials, Casino Developers Threaten Legal Action After General Assembly Blocks 2022 Casino Referendum

The recently-passed Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget includes language blocking the City of Richmond from holding another casino referendum until November 2023. Richmond officials have called for a 2022 referendum after voters rejected a casino in 2021, but Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) is instead pushing for Petersburg to be granted a casino license, and on Thursday afternoon, Richmond officials and the casino developers suggested they were considering legal action.

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Virginia House, Senate Pass Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Compromise

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Republican-controlled House of Delegates and the Democrat-controlled Senate finally sent a budget compromise for Fiscal Year 2023 beginning July 1 to Governor Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday, but while leaders from both parties praised the budget, individual Democrats and Republicans criticized the compromise for problems ranging from no gas tax holiday to cuts on mental health resources.

House Appropriations Chair Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) told delegates, “It’s been a long haul, but I believe the result is a fiscally sound, bipartisan budget we can all be proud of.”

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Virginia House Democrats Pick Don Scott Jr. for New Minority Leader

RICHMOND, Virginia — Delegate Don Scott, Jr. (D-Portsmouth) is the new Democratic Leader/Minority Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates, elected on Wednesday morning. Scott had pushed to oust then-Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn who was voted out at the end of April, but at that time the caucus opted to delay a vote on a new leader to give time for other candidates to campaign.

“I’ve come through some adversity in life and I’ve been able to overcome it and I’ve done very well for myself,” Scott told reporters after the results were announced.

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Budget Proposal Includes New Marijuana Misdemeanor, Blocks Richmond Casino License for Now

The General Assembly is expected to vote Wednesday on a budget compromise hammered out by top money legislators from House Republicans and Senate Democrats. The proposal includes tax and spending policy, but also includes legislation that would fund lab schools, block a Richmond casino for now, and create new marijuana misdemeanors for possession of more than four ounces of marijuana in public.

Executive Director of Virginia NORML JM Pedini said in a recent update that there had been the potential for three class six felonies.

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State Senator Petersen Explains His Opposition to Washington Commanders Stadium Deal

In an appearance on 106.7 The Fan, State Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) expanded comments on his opposition to a Washington Commanders stadium authority bill. In a Wednesday press release, Petersen said he was concerned by traffic problems at a proposed Woodbridge site, but focused on the team’s recent move away from its controversial former name “Washington Redskins.”

“It’s not that I don’t like the new name,” Petersen told BMitch and Finlay Thursday. “I mean, I don’t care. The problem is the team has no brand, it has no identity. And you’re asking the Commonwealth of Virginia to enter a long-term economic relationship with a team that effectively has no brand.”

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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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Top Negotiators Del. Knight and Sen. Howell Announce Budget Deal to The Washington Post and The Richmond Times-Dispatch

After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, General Assembly budget negotiators revealed details of a deal in a Thursday briefing with only reporters from The Washington Post and The Richmond Times-Dispatch. According to their reporting, the deal includes significant wins for both sides, including a major increase of the standard deduction but no gas tax holiday.

The private budget negotiations and the exclusive briefing are drawing criticism from Virginia reporters.

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Sen. Petersen Opposes Washington Commanders Stadium Deal Amid Concerns over Dropping ‘Redskins’ Name

Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) is opposed to efforts to bring the Washington Commanders football team to Virginia, in part due to concerns over the team’s recent name change.

“I have two concerns. One is that the development is too far removed from an urban setting, unlike Nats Park at The Navy Yard, which will make it solely dependent on vehicle traffic for access. More importantly, I don’t have confidence in The Washington Commanders as a viable NFL franchise,” Petersen said in Wednesday press release.

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After Texas Shooting, Virginia Gov. Youngkin Gets School Safety Briefings, Calls for More Money for School Resource Officers

Governor Glenn Youngkin met with three of his cabinet members on Wednesday after a mass shooter killed children on Tuesday at a Texas elementary school.

“This morning, Governor Youngkin received a briefing from Secretary Robert Mosier, Secretary Aimee Guidera, Secretary John Littel, and State Superintendent Jillian Balow about actions taken to protect children in schools and the resources available at the state level to provide mental health access as needed in response to yesterday’s tragedy in Uvalde, TX,” spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement.

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General Assembly to Reconvene Budget Special Session June 1

The General Assembly will reconvene its special session on June 1, ahead of a June 30 deadline to complete the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Since the end of the session, budget negotiators have been tight-lipped about progress on a compromise, but have said they expect one in late May.

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Youngkin Restores Rights for 3,469 Virginians

Governor Glenn Youngkin approved restoration of civil rights to 3,469 Virginians, according to a Friday announcement.

“I am encouraged that over 3,400 Virginians will take this critical first step towards vibrant futures as citizens with full civil rights,” he said. “Individuals with their rights restored come from every walk of life and are eager to provide for themselves, their families and put the past behind them for a better tomorrow.”

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Youngkin, Miyares, and Earle-Sears Commemorate Armed Forces Day with Ceremonial Bill Signing

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a proclamation honoring Armed Forces Day and ceremonially signed 23 bills focused on veterans and the military. Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke at the bill-signing held at the Virginia War Memorial on Friday.

“It’s a powerful statement: 23 bills were passed unanimously,” Youngkin said. “I want to thank our veteran caucus for all the work that you do in order to make sure that our veterans are taken care of. These 23 bills are just the beginning. When the time comes for service members to retire, to turn the page on the next chapter of their life, we want them to make their permanent home in Virginia.”

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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’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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Youngkin Wants to Add Two Marijuana Misdemeanors for Possession of More than Two Ounces and More than Six Ounces

Governor Glenn Youngkin has asked the General Assembly to approve creating two new marijuana misdemeanors: a Class Two misdemeanor for possessing more than two ounces and less than six ounces of marijuana, and a Class One misdemeanor for possessing more than six ounces but less than one pound of marijuana, the felony limit. Youngkin introduced the changes in an amendment to Senator Emmett Hanger’s (R-Augusta) SB 591, a ban on selling marijuana products in the shape of a human, animal, or fruit.

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Virginia’s General Fund Revenue in March 22.3 Percent Higher Than March 2021

Virginia’s General Fund revenue in March was 22.3 percent higher than March 2021, and year-to-date growth from Fiscal Year 2021 to 2022 was at 14.5 percent, ahead of the 9.2 percent required to meet predictions. That’s good news for the governor, who is trying to sell legislators on a slate of tax cuts that will decrease Virginia’s revenues.

“This revenue report shows strong signs that Virginia is growing. I am encouraged by the strength we’re seeing in our economy when you look at steady job growth, wages rising and median family income increasing in the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a Thursday press release. “With this report confirming and exceeding our mid-session general fund forecast we continue to see evidence that there’s plenty of money in the system to provide critical tax cuts and needed relief for Virginians struggling with rising gas prices and record-high inflation on groceries and the products they need every day.”

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Youngkin Vetoes 25 Bills, Including Nine of Sen. Ebbin’s Ten 2022 Bills That Passed

Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoed 26 bills from the 2022 General Assembly session, including nine of the ten bills sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) who helped lead efforts to block some Youngkin appointees. Youngkin also amended over 100 bills, including a bill introducing staggered elections at the Loudoun County School Board; Youngkin’s amendment would force all the members of the board to run for re-election this year.

“My goal as Governor is to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family and the bills I vetoed today reaffirm that commitment,” Youngkin said in a Monday evening announcement of the 25 newest vetoes. “I look forward to working together with members of the General Assembly in the future to ensure that we’re working for all Virginians. Together we can make the Commonwealth a place where businesses can prosper, students can thrive, and communities are safer.”

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Youngkin Signs 100 Bills, Including Bill Requiring Notification to Parents of Sexually Explicit Instructional Material In Schools

Facing an April 11 deadline, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed over 100 bills last week, including Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 656, a bill requiring Virginia public schools to notify parents about sexually explicit instructional material, allow parental review, and provide non-explicit alternatives. The bill instructs the Department of Education to create model policies and requires school boards to pass similar policies.

“These kinds of materials that are being presented in school as an opportunity to develop that relationship between the parent and the child, talk about uncomfortable and challenging things,” Dunnavant said in the Senate Committee on Education and Health in February. “We heard in testimony from the subject matter experts that there was not a consistent policy across the school boards in Virginia, and that it was extremely variable. And as a result, having clear guidelines from the Department of Education would accomplish exactly what everybody thinks already exists, but it doesn’t.”

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With Charter School Bills Dead, Virginia Republicans Turn to Lab Schools, but Democrats Are Wary

Governor Glenn Youngkin campaigned on creating 20 new charter schools in Virginia, but the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee killed Republican-led charter school legislation. As a result, Republicans are pivoting to lab schools — schools that are part of the local district operated as partnerships with education programs at local higher ed institutions. Legislation to expand Virginia’s lab schools to institutions with programs beyond education is currently in conference committee with negotiators from the House of Delegates and the Senate to try to create a compromise to send to Youngkin.

“It’s going to be an opportunity for us to move some charter-schools-lite through,” House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) told The Virginia Star during a discussion of top priorities at the beginning of the 2022 special session.

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Virginia State House Democrats Propose $50 Tax Rebate to Car Owners

The Virginia House Democrats announced a proposal to give a $50 tax rebate to Virginia car owners, up to $100 per househould — a counter-proposal to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s call for a months-long suspension of Virginia’s 26.2-cent gasoline tax.

“Unlike the plan proposed by Governor Youngkin and supported by Republican members of the General Assembly, the House Democratic plan will send funds directly to Virginia drivers and at less than one third of the cost,” the caucus said in a Friday press release. “Last week, Governor Youngkin said, ‘We can’t guarantee anything,’ when asked if his plan would pass savings to consumers. This matches criticism by legislators, business leaders, and economic experts who say that consumers would see little, if any, savings from such an action.”

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Youngkin Signs Bill Allowing Lower Property Tax for Surviving Spouses of Service Members Killed in the Line of Duty

Governor Glenn Youngkin approved Delegate Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) bill allowing localities to charge reduced property tax rates on property owned by surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty.

On February 4, Tran told a subcommittee, “I’m really proud that Virginians have gone to the ballot box again and again through constitutional amendments to support our military and their families. We’ve given property tax relief to 100 percent disabled veterans and the surviving spouse of 100 percent disabled veterans and the surviving spouse of a service member who was killed in action. But those categories leave a glaring omission: service members who were killed in the line of duty and their spouses.”

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Youngkin Gas Tax Holiday Legislation Includes a Two Percent Cap on Future Rate Adjustments

Tara Durant and Steve Newman

Senator Steve Newman (R-Bedford) and freshman Delegate Tara Durant (R-Stafford) have introduced the Youngkin administration’s three-month gasoline tax holiday bill. In addition to the tax holiday, the bill includes a two percent cap on the annual rate adjustment, which is based on the consumer price index.

“There are so many hard-working Virginians who need some type of break at the gas pump right now. Governor Youngkin is leading by putting forward a bill, which I’m proud to sponsor in the Senate of Virginia, that will temporarily suspend the Virginia gas tax,” Newman told The Virginia Star in a statement.

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Youngkin Signs Bills Tightening Restrictions on Breeders-for-Testing as New USDA Report Reveals Envigo Euthanized Dogs Without Anesthetic

RICHMOND, Virginia – Flanked by beagles and legislators, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed five bills tightening regulations on dog and cat breeders, a reaction to dramatic reports at beagle breeder-for-medical-testing Envigo, but a full ban on breeding for testing faltered in February.

“This is an important signing ceremony. And it’s important because it signifies how we’re supposed to work together,” Youngkin said from the steps of the Executive Mansion on Monday. “Behind me represents a very diverse group of legislators, legislators that oftentimes find themselves on different sides of issues. And this particular set of circumstances brought people together to do the right thing, common ground, reaching across the aisle working constructively to get things done in a comprehensive way.”

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With No Budget Compromise Ready, General Assembly Meets and Adjourns Special Session for Now

RICHMOND, Virginia – The General Assembly met briefly on Monday afternoon after Governor Glenn Youngkin recalled them for a special session to complete and pass a budget compromise and finish other legislation. The legislators passed rules for the special session that allow them to adjourn until Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) or Senate Rules Committee Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) recall the legislators with 48-hours’ notice. Then, since the budget compromise isn’t ready, the legislators adjourned.

“I was disappointed at the pace the work was going,” Youngkin told the media after a ceremonial bill signing on Monday morning. “I was disappointed there wasn’t more work last week. Everybody’s here today, and I expect them to get to work today. And I know that there are meetings that can be held, and should be held, and will be held. So it’s important to go ahead and get people back to work, and I think calling them back to special session is an important motivator to do that.”

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VCDL, VAPLAN Rank Virginia’s General Assembly Legislators

Nick Freitas and Mark Obenshain

The pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has released a scorecard of legislators from the recent General Assembly session, with most Republican legislators scoring 100 percent.  In tallies that count votes, Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) and Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) earned the highest scores based on the number of votes cast and who introduced legislation. The Virginia Progressive Legislative Action Network (VAPLAN) has also released a scorecard, finding that Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) and Delegate Thomas Wright (R-Lunenberg) tied for most conservative in the House, while Senator Steve Newman (R-Bedford) was the most conservative in the Senate.

“Congratulations to Senator Mark Obenshain (R – Harrisonburg) and to Delegate Nick Freitas (R – Culpeper) for having the best voting records in the General Assembly,” the VCDL wrote in an update. “And honorable mention goes to Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Mechanicsville and freshman Delegate Marie March (R-Pulaski), who both came in 2nd place.”

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Youngkin Signs 45 Bills, Including Bill Closing Farm-Use Placard Loophole

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed 45 non-controversial bills on Friday, ahead of the General Assembly’s return to the capitol for a special session on Monday. Youngkin’s announcement highlighted bills to cut fees for sportsmen, increase law enforcement training to recognize human trafficking, and strengthen school safety audits.

“We are here to provide solutions to the problems that matter to Virginians and we are working every day to serve our parents and students, veterans and law enforcement,” Youngkin said in the press release. “I thank these bipartisan legislators for their ability to find common sense solutions for their constituents and the Commonwealth.”

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Youngkin Signs Del. Scott’s Bill Allowing Localities to Reduce Car Property Tax Rate

Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin approved Delegate Phillip Scott’s (R-Spotsylvania) HB 1239, which will allow localities to reduce the property tax rate imposed on cars without impacting other personal property tax.

“With prices soaring on the necessities that families and individuals use every day, Virginians are in dire need of relief to their wallets. I am proud to sign this legislation and work with the General Assembly to empower localities to lower the cost of living,” Youngkin said in a Monday press release.

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At Liberty University, Youngkin Calls for Christians to Serve in Politics and Internationally, and Pitches His Tax Relief

Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke at a Friday morning convocation at Liberty University. He told those in attendance that public service is a calling from God, and touched on policy issues including Ukraine, law enforcement, discussions of race in schools, and polarized two-party politics.

“It’s not an ‘or’ moment, it’s an ‘and’ moment. Today in America there are voices on the far left that so want to silence the voice on the right. They want to cancel conservative speakers on campuses. They want to silence voices who disagree with them,” he said.

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