Thanks to Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pam Northam for their service, and specifically for leaving Virginia a *much* better place than when they started. See below for a thread by the PBS NewsHour’s Chief Washington Correspondent, Geoff Bennett, who writes:
Following his 2019 yearbook scandal, @GovernorVA Ralph Northam told me in an interview he would prioritize racial equity policy. As his term ends tomorrow, it’s worth noting the breadth and depth of what he and state Democrats accomplished. Here’s a long and yet incomplete list
Also, in the past four years, Gov. Northam signed literally *hundreds* of progressive and environmental laws into effect that made Virginia a lot better. Here’s a VERY short list, taken from Gov. Northam’s “Thank You, Virginia” brochure that his office mailed out.
- “Virginia: The Country’s Strongest Economy”
- “Under Governor Northam, Virginia has secured $80 billion in capital investment and more than 100,000 jobs…four times more investment than any previous Governor.”
- “Virginia is back as America’s Top State for Business”
- “Virginia is investing in people” – “raising the minimum wage,” “creating free community college,” “making historic investments in affordable housing,” etc.
- “Virginia is for broadband…on track to become one of the first states to achieve universal access to broadband and access to high-speed internet by 2024.”
- “Virginia is leading in renewable energy…Governor Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act – to achieve 30% renewable energy by 2030, and setting Virginia on the path to a carbon-free electric grid by 2050.”
- “Under Governor Northam, Virginia’s financial reserves are at record levels…more than $3.8 billion in financial reserves” and a “record surplus” of $3.2 billion.
- “Virginia offers a world-class education” (“Virginia’s K-12 public schools benefit from record funding”; “Virginia is making it easier to go to college”; etc.)
- Medicaid expansion: “More than 600,000 Virginians now have healthcare coverage, thanks to Governor Northam’s successful push for Virginia to expand Medicaid.”
- “Under Governor Northam, Virginia is making it easier to vote – even as other states make voting harder.”
- “Under Governor Northam, Virginia finally passed common-sense laws to prevent gun violence.”
- “Virginia has created the strongest Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan in Virginia history”
- “Governor Northam signed legislation for Virginia to become the first southern state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative”
- “Under Governor Northam, Virginia doubled the number of veterans hired.”
- “Virginia promotes inclusion and transparency”
- “Governor Northam signed the Virginia Values Act into law – becoming the first Southern state to say No to discrimination.”
- “The Transforming Rail in Virginia program will expand and improve passenger, commuter and freight-rail in Virginia and create a vital connection in America’s rail network between the Northeast and Southeast corridors.”
- Not to mention that Gov. Northam helped guide Virginia through the COVID-19 pandemic and the January 6th, 2021 violent insurrection at the US Capitol. In sum – wow, what a four years…and arguably the most consequential governorship (by far?) in Virginia history!