Democratic Senators Petersen and Lewis Join Republicans to Pass School Mask Opt-Out Bill

The Virginia Senate passed a bill that will allow parents to opt their children out of wearing masks at school. Democratic Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Lynwood Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) joined with Republicans to pass SB 739 after the Senate debated the bill for over an hour on Wednesday.

Bill sponsor Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), an OB/GYN, said during debate, “Two years into this pandemic, keeping unproven measures in place is no longer justifiable. We must evolve; science doesn’t stand still. We did masks and boxes and other things because we thought maybe they might help but they have not proven to do so. I will say further that you have before you a conflict between two constitutional priorities in Virginia. One is that school boards get to decide policy for their districts. But the other is that we are a parental rights state. You’re going to have to choose which authority, ceded by the Constitution, you’re going to stand by today.”

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Virginia Beach School Board Member Leading Recall Effort Against Six Other Members

Virginia Beach School Board Member Victoria Manning is one of the leaders of a group trying to recall six other school board members. Students First VA (SFVA) announced this week that it is collecting signature for the recalls, focusing on 2020-2021 virtual learning.

“We believe that students should always be first and that the goal of the school system, the goal of the board, the goal of the administration, the goal of the teachers should be to put those interests above all else. And we’re not convinced that’s been done around the state, but especially focused here in Virginia Beach,” SFVA President Tim Mack told The Virginia Star. “If you look both at the recall petition themselves as well as our website and other sources, you’ll see that the school board certainly had information to make a different decision than it did and decided to close schools against the wishes of parents, against the direction of local physicians, and healthcare providers, as well as the CDC. And we think that those decisions were not good for all the students in the school, in particular, those with special needs.”

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Virginia Finance Secretary Expects $500 Million Revenue Surplus, But Is Cautious About Future Effects of Inflation

Virginia is on track for a revenue surplus of $500 million, according to presentations Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne gave to legislators in the General Assembly this week. Layne was cautiously optimistic when describing Virginia’s financial situation, saying that many jobs have come back, and the housing market is booming.

“This all adds up to a very good performance for the first ten months of the year,” he said in a Tuesday presentation to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. “We’re going to have a surplus that’s at least half a billion dollars and I think there’s an upward bias.”

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John Fredericks Commentary: Analysis and Predictions for the GOP for Saturday’s Nominating Convention

American flag flying above a large crowd.

On Saturday, May 8, up to 53,000 Virginia Republicans who pre-registered as delegates will nominate candidates for state-wide offices in November, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

It’s been a long time coming.

The nominating process for Republicans, an unassembled convention with about 40 voting locations across the Commonwealth – open for voting from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM – is a convoluted and confusing affair that took months to negotiate and consummate after numerous marathon and agonizing Zoom calls by the Party’s State Central Committee.

It’s been a long time coming.  

The nominating process for Republicans, an unassembled convention with about 40 voting locations across the Commonwealth–open for voting from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM–is a convoluted and confusing affair that took months to negotiate and consummate after numerous marathon and agonizing Zoom calls by the Party’s State Central Committee. 

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Winsome Sears Shocks Race for Lieutenant Governor, Receives Endorsement of Amanda Chase and Octavia Johnson

On Monday, former Delegate Winsome Sears, candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia, was endorsed by gubernatorial candidates State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) and former Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson. The dual endorsements have caused a tremendous uproar in a race that until today was considered rather quiet.

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Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bills Prioritize Licenses and Loans to People with Marijuana Convictions

Marijuana legalization bills are approaching a floor vote in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate. In addition to removing criminal penalties, the 274-page bills essentially create an entire industry, including regulation of business licenses, creating taxes, and incentivizing entrepreneurs to enter the market.

But Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) said all of that is just a shell.

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Republican Party of Virginia Chooses Convention for 2021 Nominations

It was a “Motion from hell,” Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Chair Richard Anderson said during the hours-long discussion of the RPV’s nomination method for 2021. 

Eventually, the RPV State Central Committee voted in favor of holding a convention instead of a primary to nominate the party’s 2021 Virginia candidates.

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Politics at the Thanksgiving Table: Legislators on Holiday

Virginia’s legislators recently completed a long special session, and are preparing for the regular session in January. Additionally, Virginia’s state elections are just a year away, so many of them are launching campaigns for office.  The Virginia Star asked several legislators how they’re escaping the stress this Thanksgiving.

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Hundreds of ‘Adorable Deplorables, Chumps, and Uglies’ Show Up to Virginia Beach Trump Rally

Well over 200 people showed up on a rainy, gray Sunday to a Trump Rally supporting their Republican candidates: Scott Taylor for Congress and Daniel Gade for Senate. The rally took place inside the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. 

Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson hosted the rally, with The Star editor-in-chief and Trump Virginia Delegation Chairman John Fredericks emceeing.

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Lieutenant Governor’s Race Crowded with Hopefuls for Future Governor

Ten candidates have officially announced runs for the 2021 Virginia Lieutenant Governor (LG) primaries, and more are reported to be eyeing the seat. According to the Virginia Constitution, the LG’s primary role is the president of the Senate; however, he has no vote unless the Senate is tied.

Candidate and former Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Paul Goldman told The Virginia Star, “People are going to say, ‘If I get to be lieutenant governor, I’ll be the next governor in four years. That’s what they’re thinking. That’s what they’ve always thought.'”

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Northam Announces More Money for Closed Schools

Governor Ralph Northam is sending an additional $220 million of Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to Virginia’s schools, according to a Thursday press release. The money is intended to help purchase testing supplies, personal protective equipment, sanitation, and virtual learning technology.

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Virginia Del. Glenn Davis Announces His Run for Lieutenant Governor

Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredericks welcomed Glenn Davis to the program to announce his run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and discuss a Democrat bill that would crush small businesses in his state.

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After Five More Charged in Connection with June 10 Protests, Leading Virginia Democrats Appear at Rally Supporting Senator Lucas

Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) appeared alongside former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) at a rally of over 100 people outside a Portsmouth church on Tuesday, according to reporting by The Associated Press. The rally came after police charged five more people in relation to a June 10 protest.

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Virginia House Delegates Member Glenn Davis Weighs in on New Zoom Meeting Process for House Meetings and the Continued Closing of Virginia Beach

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredericks was joined by the Virginia House of Delegates 84th District member Glenn Davis who commented on the inefficiency of the Zoom meetings for the House of Delegates and the inability for businesses to open up in Virginia Beach.

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Glenn Davis Joins John Fredericks to Discuss the Democratic Zoom Scam and Keeping Their Per Diem

Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks was joined by Virginia House Delegate member Glenn Davis to speak about the Democrats move to Zoom meetings and keeping their per diem.

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