(The Center Square) – Virginia Democrats hit back at Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s State of the Commonwealth address, alluding to a progressive agenda.
Del. Betsy Carr said Democrats are committed to moving the commonwealth “forward” while “protecting the rights and freedoms” of Virginians, which they say is the message voters sent last November.
Carr highlighted some of the key pieces of legislation Democrats hope to deliver during the session, including expanding gun control, affordable child care, education funding and protecting abortion.
Democrats are hoping to enshrine abortion into the commonwealth’s constitution, making abortion a central theme during campaign season. Carr said women must jump through legal hoops across the country in order to receive “lifesaving care,” adding that it is “absolutely unacceptable.”
Carr, along with fellow Democrats, vow to make abortion a priority.
“We will continue to ensure protections for a woman’s right to choose here in the commonwealth,” said Carr.
Senate President Pro Tempore L. Louise Lucas, also provided a rebuttal, continuing to echo a “forward” theme, saying the election results were a rebuke of the “MAGA ideology.” Lucas focused on social issues, saying Youngkin and the Republicans want to return to the past.
“A past in which people were oppressed, unable to afford basic health care, who were scared to go to their churches and schools and weren’t allowed to love or marry who they wanted to love or marry,” Lucas said. “Virginians did not want to go back to the past when it came to their rights and freedoms.”
“This past November, voters made it clear across the commonwealth that they do not subscribe to the ideals of this governor or that of the Republican Party,” said Lucas.
Youngkin, Carr and Lucas all vowed to reach across the aisle in an effort to move legislation forward. Still, the two parties are already sparring over taxes and the environment, especially Youngkin’s plan to eliminate the state’s personal property tax on cars and repeal the commonwealth’s plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.