RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia General Assembly reconvened today to act on Governor Glenn Youngkin’s amendments to the compromise budget that passed the legislature earlier this month. Democrats in the House of Delegates roundly condemned Governor Youngkin’s amendments as unnecessarily divisive and obstructionist at a time when Virginians are looking for tenable solutions to real issues.
Democrats in the House opposed a number of amendments, including ones that:
● Ban low-income Women from receiving funding to end pregnancies with severe fetal diagnoses,
● Attempt to pit two high-need student groups against each other by removing aid for DACA students and redirecting it to HBCU students,
● Pull funding from public schools to allow for increased subsidies for private schools, fulfilling the Governor’s political promises,
● Undo key reforms that made our criminal justice system fairer and emphasized rehabilitation over retribution.
These and other amendments demonstrate just how out of touch the Governor is when it comes to the things that Virginians really care about. Now, after months of negotiations, he is attempting to create even more division and unrest in a moment when there is no time to spare in the budget process.
House Democratic Leader Don Scott said: “In the eleventh hour, because the governor failed to effectively participate in the budget-writing process, he sent down a handful of dangerous, spiteful amendments in a last-ditch effort to score political points. This style of governance is no surprise coming from Youngkin, who recently vetoed a number of important bipartisan measures that would have done meaningful good here in Virginia. That’s because the real issues facing everyday Virginians are just talking points to him.
In his short time as governor, Glenn Youngkin has made sowing division his top priority. In broad daylight, his administration has launched a chilling, concerted effort to disappear any work that addresses race and racism in this commonwealth and make ‘equity’ a dirty word. He has gone after state employees and teachers, attacked public education, meddled in public health, defended workplace discrimination, and slashed funding for affordable housing. The truth is that working families are hurting right now. Instead of rolling up his sleeves and governing, Youngkin is unabashedly fanning the flames of the culture war to further his own political career.
Unlike Glenn Youngkin, I know what it means to get a bill you can’t afford and make the hard choices, because I’ve been there. That’s my story. Here’s my promise: Until we can get back to work building a Commonwealth that works for working families, Virginia Democrats won’t back down in the fight against Youngkin’s petty tactics and out-of-touch agenda.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring, added, “Governor Youngkin is out of touch with the needs of Virginians. That’s why he sent down these radical amendments. Youngkin wants to restrict access to medically necessary abortion for low-income women in Virginia and that cruel and discriminatory policy will never impact him. He wants to defund our public schools and pit historically marginalized communities against one another. He refuses to go after price-gougers who are lining their own pockets as gas prices skyrocket, even though he has the means to declare an emergency to protect Virginians. These are easy choices to score political points for Governor Youngkin and not in the best interest of the Commonwealth.”