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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Judge Dismisses Loudoun County School Board Recalls

Laura Morris

A judge dismissed recall efforts against Loudoun County School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan and Atoosa Reaser Monday, after an outside prosecutor couldn’t find evidence to pursue the recall.

“I’m so grateful that today, the independent Commonwealth’s attorney found that their petition lacks any reasonable factual basis,” Reaser said in a press conference recorded by 7NewsDC.

Reaser said the process took a toll on her and her family.

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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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USDA Agents Raid and Seize Dogs at Beagle-Breeder-for Testing Envigo

USDA agents and other authorities raided beagle-breeder-for-testing Envigo’s Cumberland facility and seized 145 dogs that were in “acute distress” on Wednesday, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Christopher Kavanaugh.
The attorney is representing the U.S. against Envigo, alleging that the breeder is violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“In less than a year, the company has amassed over 60 citations for non-compliance with the AWA, which have affected thousands of beagles. More than half of those citations were deemed ‘critical’ or ‘direct,’ the most serious types of AWA citation,” the complaint states. ” As relevant here, a ‘critical’ noncompliance is one that has a ‘serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal[s].’ [….] A ‘direct’ noncompliance is a critical noncompliance that is having a serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal at the time of the inspection.”

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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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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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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’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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 House Finance Committee Sends Gas Tax Holiday Bill to Appropriations Committee

House Finance Committee Republicans advanced Governor Glenn Youngkin’s gas tax holiday bill and killed Democrats’ alternate $50-per-car tax refund proposal on Tuesday. The bill includes a 100-percent motor fuels tax reduction from May 1 through July 31, a 50 percent reduction in August, and a 25 percent reduction in September. It also includes a two percent cap on future annual rate adjustments.

“As I testified to the House and the Senate early in the year, we have an exceptional amount of revenue that we did not expect a couple of years ago in the transportation plan. Over the six years it’s in the billions of dollars. And obviously, the governor has made a pledge to try to get some of the revenue back to the citizens who’ve contributed to the Commonwealth, particularly in this time of high inflation and economic trouble,” Secretary of Transportation Sheppard “Shep” Miller III told the committee.

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VA-07 GOP Candidate Derrick Anderson Wants to Focus on Veterans Affairs Red Tape, Agriculture Fuel Costs and Supply Chains, and I-95 Issues

Former Special Forces Green Beret Derrick Anderson is part of the crowded GOP primary race for Virginia’s newly redrawn seventh congressional district. He says he’s a constitutional conservative, and highlights his roots in the district and his role as a political outsider. In recent fundraising results, he raised slightly more than perceived front-runner Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania,) which Anderson said is proof that his hard work makes him the best choice to go against Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) in the general election.

Anderson listed three policy areas he wants to focus on as a congressman.

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Youngkin Signs School Safety Audit Bill from Del. Taylor, Amends Del. Greenhalgh’s SRO Bill

Virginia’s schools will be required to collaborate with the chief local law enforcement officer when conducting required safety audits.

“It is critical to have collaboration between local law enforcement and their school districts for the safety of our children. The requirement to provide safety audits allows safety recommendations to be made to school boards in a timely manner,” bill sponsor Delegate Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie) said on the House floor in February.

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Former Elementary School Assistant Principal Sues Albemarle County School Board after Quitting Due to Alleged Racially Hostile Work Environment

A former Albemarle County elementary school assistant principal is suing the school board, claiming that a racially hostile work environment forced her to quit her job in 2021. Emily Mais’ lawsuit describes an escalating series of conflicts related to anti-racism trainings, including the book Courageous Conversations About Race, which Governor Glenn Youngkin’s education administration has identified as an example of Critical Race Theory.

“The curriculum sets up a classic Catch-22, in which a white person’s objections to the content of the curriculum are simply evidence that he or she is a racist who needs further training on the curriculum,” the complaint states. “Unfortunately for her, Ms. Mais was caught in that Catch-22. When Ms. Mais complained about the curriculum and protested reverse racism, she was branded a racist, severely and pervasively harassed, relentlessly humiliated, and ultimately compelled to resign from a job that she loved to preserve her mental health.”

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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 Adds Former DeVos Aide to Conservative Department of Education Administration

McKenzie Snow, a former aide to Trump’s U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, is Virginia’s new Deputy Secretary of Education appointee. Snow is Youngkin’s latest education appointee, and continues Youngkin’s pattern of conservative picks for the Department of Education.

“The Governor has built a team who have been leaders and change agents in their fields. McKenzie knows first hand what it takes to build a best in class education system and we are thrilled to have McKenzie join the administration,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said.

Democrats reacted with alarm after The Virginia Mercury reported the pick.

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Youngkin Seeks to Force Whole Loudoun County School Board to Run Again in November

Governor Glenn Youngkin wants the whole Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) to run for re-election this year instead of just two of its members, and has amended a bill from Delegate David Reid (D-Loudoun) to make that happen.

“The last few years just absolutely signified some real challenges with the Loudoun County School Board. And so in the spirit of transparency and accountability, my amendment gives parents the ability to elect their school board. This election can reflect the will of parents, and it’s a chance with my amendment to do that right now, this November,” Youngkin said in an interview with 7 News DC.

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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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Rocket Lab Breaks Ground at Wallops Flight Facility for Rocket Factory

Rocket Lab USA, a private rocket provider, broke ground on a factory for its Neutron rocket at a site adjacent to the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia’s Eastern Shore on Monday. Politicians and officials at the event praised the expansion of Rocket Lab in Virginia as a sign of the expanding importance of Virginia’s spaceport.

“This is the first announcement of an aerospace production facility on the Eastern Shore,” Virginia Space CEO Ted Mercer said.

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Youngkin Signs Hundreds of Bills Ahead of Monday Night Deadline

Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed 700 bills into law according to a Monday afternoon announcement; Youngkin faced a deadline of April 11 to take action on bills passed at the end of the recent General Assembly session.

“Today marks another important step in a journey for the people of Virginia, one which started even before our nation’s founding. Every year the duly elected representatives of the people assemble to pass new laws on behalf of their constituencies, and I am honored to sign these 700 bills into law this year,” the governor said in the announcement.

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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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The John Fredericks Show: Virginia State Senate Candidate John McGuire Talks Youngkin’s Tax Cut

John McGuire

Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed House Delegates member John McGuire who is now running for the Virginia State Senate to talk about why his running and getting Governor Younkin’s tax cut passed through the Senate.

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Youngkin Replaces State Agency Ban Phasing Out Single-Use Plastics with Order Promoting Recycling

Glenn Youngkin wearing a safety vest; at a landfill

Governor Glenn Youngkin has rescinded an executive order from former Governor Ralph Northam that ordered Virginia agencies to phase out single-use plastics and Styrofoam. Youngkin issued a new executive order to promote recycling in state agencies and eliminate food waste.

“Too often in the past, Virginia has been presented with a false choice between saving our environment and growing our economy. The growing market for post-consumer recyclables demonstrates that we can do both,” Youngkin said in a press release. “We need to bridge that disconnect to better conserve our natural resources, reduce waste that goes out to landfills and promote new clean energy jobs here in Virginia. We should be focusing our resources and energy on providing a cleaner supply of recyclable materials.”

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