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Video: VA Senate Dem Caucus Vice Chair Scott Surovell Says Teachers Should All Be Vaccinated by Mid-March; General Assembly MIGHT Still “Squeak Out” Marijuana Legalization Bill

Also, the styrofoam ban "is way, way, way overdue"

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Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Scott Surovell was on WAMU’s The Politics Hour a few minutes ago, and had some interesting information/analysis of schools reopening, banning styrofoam containers and legalizing marijuana. See below for audio and highlights:

  • On schools reopening, Sen. Surovell said a lot of people “were upset that especially the school systems in Northern Virginia had not approved any type of in-person schooling” and that “for a lot of families it was really a burden between the child care issues and for some other families they just can’t work if they don’t have their children in school.” Sen. Surovell added that the CDC recently issued guidance “kind of reaffirming” that the science doesn’t support keeping kids out of school. Also, Sen. Surovell added, “we’re going to get all of our teachers vaccinated probably by the…middle of March…right now about 70 percent are vaccinated. and so the thinking was… by June 1…all the teachers and the school personnel should be vaccinated, and there’s really not as much of a reason to hold our kids back and give families the support they need.” Sen. Surovell also pointed out that “the test scores coming out of the schools are just really frightening…this online learning just really isn’t taking for a lot of kids, especially if they’re English-as-second-language learners.”

  • On banning styrofoam containers, Sen. Surovell said “for larger chains, I believe it’s a polystyrene ban within two years…and then for the smaller sort-of mom-and-pop-style restaurants, it doesn’t kick in until 2025…I’ve been cleaning up this one creek in my district and I can’t tell you how much styrofoam I’ve taken out of it, and this thing is way, way, way overdue…I’m glad we were finally able to work out the problem.”

  • Finally, on marijuana legalization, Sen. Surovell said “the House voted for a regime to basically the recreational sale of marijuana…the Senate sort of voted in general for a concept, but not to make it the law, and there’s a real big split…between the caucuses on that….Last night I was very pessimistic about bridging the gap, but I know there’s been some movement in the last 12 hours; I’m not really sure whether we’re going to get to home plate. I think we’ll probably see some kind of bill, but I’m not sure it’s going to be the full legalization that’s sort of been talked about in the media...This is the biggest bill I’ve ever seen…13,000 lines long, it’s extraordinarily complex, I think it’s going to take more time to vet it; it’s possible we might squeak something out in the next 24 hours, but it’s going to be hard.”

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