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.”
Republicans have a good chance to retake the majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates, powered by historically-Republican voters in swing districts who were alienated by former President Donald Trump. To win the majority, Republicans need to protect what they have and take six seats. They see opportunities in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond, Virginia Beach, and downstate Virginia.
“We feel that with the environment that’s going on right now, we’ve got great opportunities to pick up five to nine seats to take over,” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “That’s one thing you don’t have any control of, but the environment, you know, of Biden and just the overreach by a lot of the Democrats’ bills last year has really focused the independents back our way.”
Mike Dickinson mobilized big turnout to Trump Trains that traveled through the heart of Richmond in October. Dickinson’s grassroots events energized local Trump supporters even as mainstream GOP events in the area struggled. At the time, Dickinson was running for Richmond’s 1st City Council District; he came in third with 1,842 votes. Now, he has again set his sights on the 68th House of Delegates district, currently held by Dawn Adams (D).