Governor Glenn Youngkin signed his first bill on Monday. HB 828, sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham), was the first bill passed out of the 2022 General Assembly last week. It passed without receiving any recorded ‘no’ votes in either the House or the Senate.
In 2021, Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) sponsored a bill to create a state-run assistance program to help dairy farmers participate in the federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program that provides financial assistance for small and mid-sized dairy farmers when milk prices drop. In January, Wilt said in committee that the federal government didn’t have the program available in time, which meant that farmers would miss an application deadline at the beginning of February.
“So what this bill simply does is extend that time to May 15,” Wilt said.
Virginia Republicans retook the House of Delegates by protecting their incumbents and flipping seven seats, giving them a 52-48 majority, according to unofficial election results. Those flips included some predictable results. Otto Wachsmann defeated Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex). Republicans won in four out of five competitive Virginia Beach races. Mike Cherry protected Republican control of outgoing Delegate Kirk Cox’s (R-Colonial Heights) district.
Republicans also pulled off some surprises. A.C. Cordoza has apparently defeated Delegate Martha Mugler (D-Hampton) 49.68 percent to 48.70 percent — a nail biting result since mail-in ballots can still come in.
Virginia House District 10 is one of Republicans’ best chances to flip a House seat in the election; Republicans hope to retake the majority by winning a net six seats. The district includes part of Loudoun County, where the local school board has become a battleground and a national bellweather for the GOP’s new messaging on education. Statewide politicians have made repeated stops in the area, and GOP challenger Nick Clemente and Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) have together raised over $2 million, placing the district number one among the 100 House seats for fundraising, according to The Virginia Public Access Project.
“I think Gooditis is probably the second most likely Democrat to lose in the House,” CNalysis Executive Director Chaz Nuttycombe said. “I think Nick Clemente is definitely the strongest recruit that the GOP has going up against the Democrats.”
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.”
Governor Ralph Northam announced the signing of 14 bills on Wednesday, March 31, which was a deadline for the Governor to take action on legislation passed in the 2021 General Assembly sessions. According to his announcement, took action on 552 bills with no vetoes, although he sent some back to the General Assembly with amendments.
The Virginia General Assembly is considering three bills that would add legal protections for domestic workers in jobs like cleaning, landscaping, and childcare. The bills are focused on banning discriminatory practices, implementing safety standards, and requiring worker’s compensation insurance. Advocates say the current exemption for domestic workers dates back to racist Jim Crow legislation and should be removed, but opponents say the bills put more burdens on domestic workers and the people who hire them.
HB 2032, introduced by Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) adds “Domestic Service” as a category that would be included under current workplace safety and workers’ compensation law. Gooditis said that the bill makes domestic service subject to workplace safety standards, and that inspectors can require access.