March 10, 2020 News

Democratic majority delivers on liberal agenda in Virginia, a remade Southern state


by Democratic Party of Virginia

KEY POINTS:

Over the past 60 days, Virginia Democrats acted to tighten gun control laws, roll back restrictions on abortion, raise the state’s minimum wage, decriminalize marijuana possession and enact protections for the LGBTQ community, among other things. Approved legislation is now before the party’s leader, Gov. Ralph Northam.

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Democrats largely prevailed, through work done by the most racially and ethnically diverse General Assembly that Virginia has ever elected. It was a marked change from just a few decades ago when the legislature included few African Americans and almost no other ethnic minorities.

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“This General Assembly session has been historic in the extraordinary progress the House of Delegates has made for Virginians in every corner of the commonwealth,” Filler-Corn said.

See below from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Richmond Times-Dispatch: Democratic majority delivers on liberal agenda in Virginia, a remade Southern state

By Justin Mattingly and Mel Leonor

March 9, 2020 

Proclaiming a mandate from voters, Democrats in the Virginia legislature ushered the formerly conservative statehouse to the ideological left on a wide range of issues during their first session with full control of state government.

Over the past 60 days, Virginia Democrats acted to tighten gun control laws, roll back restrictions on abortion, raise the state’s minimum wage, decriminalize marijuana possession and enact protections for the LGBTQ community, among other things. Approved legislation is now before the party’s leader, Gov. Ralph Northam.

The new majority faced hurdles that included a deluge of proposed legislation and internal ideological divisions that at times appeared to threaten movement. Democrats also faced strong opposition from Republicans, who asserted that the state’s new direction would threaten social stability and economic growth.

Democrats largely prevailed, through work done by the most racially and ethnically diverse General Assembly that Virginia has ever elected. It was a marked change from just a few decades ago when the legislature included few African Americans and almost no other ethnic minorities. This year, people of color carried some of the most significant bills.

At the helm in the House were Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax County and Majority Leader Charniele Herring of Alexandria, the first women to hold the posts. Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, served as that chamber’s first female and African American president pro tempore.

“This General Assembly session has been historic in the extraordinary progress the House of Delegates has made for Virginians in every corner of the commonwealth,” Filler-Corn said. “In November, voters called for swift, impactful action to make their communities safer and more prosperous. We have delivered on that mandate.”

Republicans, without either chamber or the governorship for the first time since the beginning of 1994, sought to defend the state’s business-friendly, socially conservative policies they had enacted while in the majority. They were backed by large demonstrations railing against Democrats’ agenda, most notably a gun rights rally that drew an estimated 22,000 people in January and a roughly 2,500-person anti-abortion rally in February.

Read the full article here

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