General Assembly Votes to Give Virginia Teachers a Raise, Senate Passes In-Person Learning Bills

The House of Delegates and the Senate both voted to give Virginia teachers’ a pay raise in the budget bills passed with bipartisan support Friday. HB 1800, passed 68 to 30, features a five percent teachers’ raise for Fiscal Year 2022, while its counterpart SB 1100, which features a three percent teachers’ raise, passed 31 to eight. The Senate also passed an amendment to the budget that requires schools to provide in-person learning options in 2021-2022; however, the House defeated a similar floor amendment on Friday.

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Virginia House of Delegates Votes to Remove Statue of Segregationist Governor Harry Byrd, Sr.

The Virginia House of Delegates voted 63 to 34 on Wednesday to remove to storage the statue of former Democratic Governor Harry Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square. Byrd served as governor for four years from 1926-1930, and as Senator from 1933 until 1965. He wielded extensive political power which he used to oppose the New Deal and civil rights legislation. His legacy has come under fire in part because he advocated “Massive Resistance,” an effort to block school desegregation mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

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Virginia Governor Northam Optimistic About State of the Commonwealth

Speaking in a mostly empty House of Delegates Chamber on Wednesday night, Governor Ralph Northam delivered an optimistic State of the Commonwealth address. In the live-streamed speech, Northam acknowledged the suffering caused by COVID-19 and an economic downturn, but highlighted stories of heroic Virginians from the past year. He touted the progress Virginia’s government made towards progressive goals in 2020, and called for more change.

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