About Senate Education & Health This Morning…

February 10, 2022

Today, Senate Democrats unequivocally held the line, killing top-priority bills for Virginia Republicans that would endanger Virginians’ health, safety, and economic security.

Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “My colleagues in the Education and Health Committee this morning stood strong to prevent the exact backsliding Virginians feared when Governor Youngkin took office. We always have and always will protect the health and safety of Virginians, denounce racism and division, and maintain Virginians’ constitutional right to make family planning decisions on their own. We are never going back.”

Education and Health Committee Chair Louise Lucas said: “The Senate Democrats’ brick wall remains steadfast, pushing back on much of Governor Youngkin’s agenda to take Virginia back to ‘the good ol’ days’ of discrimination, incarceration, and backwards policies that do not serve the Commonwealth. I’m proud of what the Education and Health Committee was able to accomplish this morning, and we will continue to fight hard to make sure any attempt at regression is stopped in its tracks.”

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw Said: “Addressing both the economic and health impacts of the covid pandemic requires every Virginian to do their part. SB587, SB601, and SB711 would grant broad license to flout science-based public health guidance developed for the greater good. We must trust experts, scientists and doctors–not base policies on conspiracy theories and misinformation.”

Senator Janet Howell said: “Abortion is a constitutional right, and has been since 1973. I remember the days of women losing their ability to have children or dying in medically dubious procedures because they didn’t have another choice. SB710 attempts to completely undermine that right, and would force Virginians and their families to make the same types of extremely personal, heart-wrenching decisions they had to make before the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. We cannot go back; we will not go back.”

Senator Ghazala Hashmi said: “While Senate Democrats remain open to the idea of specialized, results-oriented public K-12 education, SB608 and SB635 would create a two-tiered system in our schools that would siphon away funds from the schools that need it most. The argument presented on charter schools in Virginia would be to help students who are presently in failing schools achieve a separate education in a new school. However, this approach leaves so many students behind–disproportionately low-income families and children of color, furthering the divide we are seeing in education outcomes.”