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Youngkin takes action on first batch of passed legislation, hundreds more waiting

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(The Center Square) — Virginia’s legislators passed more than 1,000 bills, including a proposed state budget, during the 2024 legislative session, and now, those bills await the governor’s signature, amendment or veto.

The governor acted on the first batch sent to him, as he’s required by Virginia law to do so within seven days, passing most, amending 12 and vetoing eight.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signed 64 bills (most passed unanimously in the House of Delegates and the Senate), including several affecting education, family and military life in the commonwealth.

College admissions will soon be a little more merit-based in Virginia, as the governor signed a bill from Del. Dan Helmer, D-Fairfax, doing away with legacy admissions. The membership of the State Council of Higher Education will be a little more balanced, though this law doesn’t go into effect until 2026, with required representation from at least one of Virginia’s many private colleges. If House Bill 647 is implemented as intended, more Virginia students will reach literacy benchmarks, as the bill reinforces the Virginia Literacy Act by providing some specific directives for division-wide literacy plans and the Department of Education.

Youngkin also signed HB 174, patroned by Del. Rozia Henson, D-Prince William, ensuring that any couple, regardless of sex, gender, or race, can be lawfully married in the commonwealth. Same-sex marriage is already legal in Virginia due to the 2015 Supreme Court decision, but Democrats are working to make it an unassailable right in the commonwealth – even if the high court were to reverse its ruling – starting with this law. Conservatives applaud that the law explicitly affords organizations or individuals “acting in their religious capacity” with “the right to refuse to perform any marriage.”

With the large military population in Virginia, the governor also signed several bills providing special benefits to military families. HB 649 directs the State Registrar to expedite the issuance of birth certificates to military families, and HB 749 seeks to make child care more readily available to those families by removing state licensure requirements for military child care providers, as those providers already have to meet licensing requirements from the Department of Defense.

The governor also signed other bills on housing and the criminal justice system.

To see a list of the bills Youngkin amended and vetoed, click here.

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