Virginia’s new Republican Governor, Glen Youngkin, has wasted no time implementing his vision of restoring common sense to the Commonwealth.
Friday, Gov. Youngkin told legislators which bills and budget amendments he thinks will carry out his campaign promises, according to the Washington Post. He indicated support for expanding the state’s board of elections, requiring photo identification to vote, suspending the gasoline tax, eliminating the grocery tax, and boosting the standard deduction. He also reportedly favors giving taxpayers a one-time tax rebate.
Democrats’ blood temperature remained unchanged because these bills are not yet laws, but they probably began to boil after the new governor unleashed the power of his executive pen.
The Republican governor sided with parents of K-12 students who do not want their kids to be required to wear masks to attend school, according to a report by the National Review. In addition, Youngkin prohibited critical race theory in K–12 education and ordered the attorney general to investigate sexual assaults in Loudoun County Public Schools. He replaced every member of the Virginia Parole Board, which had been plagued by scandal, with newly appointed members. The Commonwealth’s new chief executive also withdrew Virginia from a regional green-energy initiative he claimed was increasing electricity prices.
Youngkin further expressed support for a bill aimed at undoing some pro-labor measures Democrats enacted, such as repealing a mandate for project-labor agreements on public works and repealing the ability of public employees to engage in collective bargaining.
He reportedly asked legislators to pass laws to pay for establishing public charter schools, putting resource officers in all schools, and giving parents more power to prevent their children from being exposed to sexually explicit works in the classroom.
The new governor has boldly tackled polarizing issues, such as adding “an ambassador for unborn children” as one of the duties of the state’s diversity chief.
His national profile has risen as Republicans in other states try to emulate him and ride the crest of a red wave into national office. Late-night host Stephen Colbert tried to take him down a notch by satirizing his critical race theory directive but it was like preaching to the choir for all the good it seemed to do.
He will have to survive bumps in the road such as the lawsuit filed against him by Chesapeake school parents objecting to his no-masks-in-schools policy. But, for now, Virginia Republicans are happy to be along for the ride.
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