The contrast between the following statement – by Gov. Ralph Northam, celebrating “historic progress towards a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive Virginia” in the General Assembly session so far this year – and the video of House Republicans’ press conference this morning (see below), couldn’t be more striking.
Thus, from Democrats’ perspective, we are busy “building a more equitable and inclusive Virginia,” “expanding and strengthening our world class education system,” “making healthcare more affordable for families across Virginia,” “raising the minimum wage, supporting Virginia’s workers and businesses, and boosting our reliance on clean energy,” etc.
But from House Republicans’ perspective, basically, we are DOOOOOMED! I mean, seriously, check out their overheated rhetoric – the type of nonsense Republicans have been peddling forever, really – about how raising peoples’ wages is going to just destroy Virginia’s ability to compete with states like Tennessee and North Carolina; how the Virginia Clean Economy Act is some sort of “Green New Deal lite,” how Democrats are supposedly threatening the “integrity of Virginia elections” (FALSE); “reward[ing], and quite handsomely, illegal immigrants” (xenophobic fearmongering b.s.), “enact[ing] just about every far-left idea that you’re seeing promoted right now on the stage by the presidential candidates; Bernie Sanders is going to feel quite comfortable coming to Virginia”; blah blah blah.
In response, Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker issued this statement:
“Virginians voted for change and progress last November, and Democrats are delivering. Meanwhile Republicans have only doubled down on their extremism this year, spending this legislative session complaining that things are actually getting done and floating crazy ideas about seceding to West Virginia.”
That about sums it, up, no?
Governor Northam Celebrates Progress at Midpoint of Historic General Assembly Session
~ Governor’s top priorities advancing through the legislature ~
RICHMOND—At the midpoint of the 2020 legislative session, Governor Ralph Northam marked historic progress towards a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive Virginia in the following statement.
“We started this year with an agenda that is more bold and forward-looking than ever before. I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made.
“Together, we’re expanding and strengthening our world class education system. I’ve proposed landmark funding to increase access to early childhood education, support K-12 students and teachers, and help low-income community college students get the job training skills they need. I’m pleased that the General Assembly has also advanced our proposals to protect student loan borrowers and expand in-state tuition to undocumented students.
“We are building a more equitable and inclusive Virginia. I applaud the General Assembly for taking steps to remove barriers to women’s healthcare, protect LGBTQ Virginians from discrimination, and give localities authority over the monuments in their communities.
“We are making much-needed reforms to our criminal justice system, working together to decriminalize marijuana, raise the felony larceny threshold, and permanently end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees.
“We are making healthcare more affordable for families across Virginia. And after countless lives have been lost to gun violence, we are finally advancing constitutional, commonsense gun safety legislation to keep Virginians safe.
“While I’m encouraged by our progress, we still have important work ahead. We must take steps to keep our economy strong, including raising the minimum wage, supporting Virginia’s workers and businesses, and boosting our reliance on clean energy. We must continue to work together to invest in our transportation infrastructure and save lives on our roadways. And we must advance a budget that prioritizes all students, expands access to affordable housing, and protects our precious natural resources.
“Virginians sent us here to do this work. Let’s get it done.”
In January, Governor Northam and legislative leaders unveiled an 11-point ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’ of commonsense measures broadly supported by Virginians. Read more about the agenda here.