(STL.News) – At the midpoint of the 2020 legislative session, Governor Ralph Northam marked historic progress towards a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive Virginia in the following statement.
“We started this year with an agenda that is bolder and more forward-looking than ever before. I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made.
“Together, we’re expanding and strengthening our world class education system. I’ve proposed landmark funding to increase access to early childhood education, support K-12 students and teachers, and help low-income community college students get the job training skills they need. I’m pleased that the General Assembly has also advanced our proposals to protect student loan borrowers and expand in-state tuition to undocumented students.
“We are building a more equitable and inclusive Virginia. I applaud the General Assembly for taking steps to remove barriers to women’s healthcare, protect LGBTQ Virginians from discrimination, and give localities authority over the monuments in their communities.
“We are making much-needed reforms to our criminal justice system, working together to decriminalize marijuana, raise the felony larceny threshold, and permanently end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees.
“We are making healthcare more affordable for families across Virginia. And after countless lives have been lost to gun violence, we are finally advancing constitutional, commonsense gun safety legislation to keep Virginians safe.
“While I’m encouraged by our progress, we still have important work ahead. We must take steps to keep our economy strong, including raising the minimum wage, supporting Virginia’s workers and businesses, and boosting our reliance on clean energy. We must continue to work together to invest in our transportation infrastructure and save lives on our roadways. And we must advance a budget that prioritizes all students, expands access to affordable housing, and protects our precious natural resources.
“Virginians sent us here to do this work. Let’s get it done.”
In January, Governor Northam and legislative leaders unveiled an 11-point ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’ of commonsense measures broadly supported by Virginians.