RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signed over 100 new bills into law, including measures that will bring changes for Virginia’s Board of Education, Parole Board, voting system and local schools.
Youngkin has until Monday, April 11 to approve, veto or amend the bills passed during the 2022 General Assembly session. Youngkin’s office announced on Friday, April 8 that he signed over 100 new bills that week, touting some as fulfilling his campaign promises on education and parents’ rights.
“HB 938, carried by Delegate Roxann Robinson, and SB 656, carried by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, both deliver on my Day One promises to give parents a greater say in their children’s education,” Youngkin said in a statement.
The bill from Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) requires the state’s Board of Education to convene a group including parents, school leaders and other stakeholders to evaluate, implement and recommend changes to the state legislature. The goals listed in the bill are:
- Promoting excellence in instruction and student achievement in mathematics
- Expanding the Advanced Studies Diploma as an option for students in public high schools in the Commonwealth
- Increasing the transparency and honesty of performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth
- Ensuring that performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools prioritize the attainment of grade-level proficiency and growth during the course of a school year and from school year to school year in reading and mathematics for all students, especially in grades kindergarten through five
- Ensuring that the Commonwealth’s proficiency standards on Standards of Learning assessments in reading and mathematics are maintained
- Ensuring a strong accreditation system that promotes meaningful accountability year-over-year
The legislation from state Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) mandates that the Board of Education develop policies by the end of July for each local school board to adopt by 2023 that will ensure “parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content.”
Youngkin also signed legislation to change Virginia’s election system. One bill alters how absentee ballots are counted, requiring local election officials to report them by precinct instead of putting them into one centralized precinct.
Another requires the removal of dead people from voter rolls every week instead of once a month.
Legislation creating the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund, which can give money to state and federally recognized Native American tribes, nonprofits and localities, was also signed into law.
The legislation, introduced by Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond) in the House of Delegates and in the Virginia Senate by state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield), overwhelmingly passed through the General Assembly.
The governor also signed a bill sponsored by McQuinn and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) to make historic African American cemeteries that opened between 1900 and 1948 eligible for state funding for preservation and restoration.
Some bills were signed with little fanfare, while others had ceremonial signing events from Youngkin. Two of those include on banning a truck modification known as the “Carolina Squat” — which went into effect immediately once he signed — and bills aimed at protecting dogs and cats at breeding facilities in Virginia.
Another bill signed by Youngkin will allow hunting on public land on Sundays starting in July. Under the current law, people can hunt wild birds and animals on private property or with the landowner’s permission.
Many of the measures signed by Youngkin won’t go into effect until July. Any amendments he makes will have to be approved by the General Assembly. You can find all of the bills signed by Youngkin here.