29 to 9 ruling of Virginia State Senators just delivered huge win for parents, kids and Youngkin

The Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate delivered a huge victory for parents in the state as well as new Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

In a stunning 29 – 9 vote with bi-partisan support, the Virginia Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment to a bill that will give parents the right to choose whether or not their children mask up in schools.

Youngkin celebrated the news and the fact that “when we work across the aisle, we put Virginians first.” The Republican governor had been facing legal challenges that temporarily blocked his executive order to make masks optional in schools.

(Video: WRIC)

While Republican state Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant introduced a bill for in-person education to be required in schools, it was Democrat colleague and state Sen. Chap Petersen who presented a floor amendment allowing parents to decide if their kids could opt-out of masks, “notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation, rule, or policy implemented by a school board, school division, school official, or other state or local authority.”

“I’m not concerned with the executive order. This is through the legislature,” Petersen said after the vote, according to WRIC. “We had a bipartisan coalition. We’ve talked about this for almost a month now and this was the solution that we chose.”

According to WRIC:

While the amendment to the bill was approved, the legislation from Dunnavant must still be voted on by the full Senate. However, with Petersen’s backing and other Democrats voting in favor of the amendment, the measure should pass the chamber and the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

Nine Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted against the amendment. In interviews, some said the decision should be left to localities and expressed concern for children who have yet to get clearance for the COVID-19 vaccine. Two other Democrats did not vote.


“In the last week, we have seen Democrat-led states like Oregon, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware move away from universal mask mandates in schools. I am pleased that there is bipartisan support for doing the same in Virginia,” Youngkin said in a statement.

“This shows that when we work across the aisle, we put Virginians first. I look forward to signing this bill when it comes to my desk.”

Twitter users celebrated the win for parents, kids and the new GOP governor, while many noted the timing of the sudden bipartisan cooperation.



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