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The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Protects and Builds Upon Progress in the 2022 General Assembly Session

"We will not go back.”

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From the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus:

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Protects and Builds Upon Progress in the 2022 General Assembly Session

Richmond, VA—On Saturday, the Virginia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die wrapping up the 2022 Regular Session. Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) successfully championed legislation and efforts that build on and protect the progress that we’ve made in previous sessions.

“The VLBC remains committed to protecting and building upon the progress we have made to address the inequities that impact Virginians,” said VLBC Chairman Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-74th, Henrico). “We urge the Governor to reconsider his position on the importance of equity and encourage conferees to remain firm in our position to ensure that the budget reflects our shared values.”

VLBC Vice Chair Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-9th, Richmond) said:

“This session, the legislature passed significant bills to strengthen our public schools, expand access to health care, stop wrongful evictions, protect victims of violence and sexual harassment, and improve preservation of historic African-American cemeteries. We also protected Virginia’s progress, blocking bills that would have set us back on voting rights, addressing climate change, criminal justice reform, and teaching a full and accurate history of Virginia. At a time when many seek to stoke fear and ignore inequity, our work this session proves we will continue to fight to not only preserve and teach our history, but address the impact that history has on our communities today. We have more work ahead to ensure the budget lowers costs and increases opportunities for all Virginians, while fully funding our K-12 needs, investing in school construction, and providing resources to schools to address the impacts of COVID and mental health.”

VLBC Executive Committee Member Delegate Luke Torian (D-52nd, Dumfries) said:

“The VLBC stood up for our values and successfully defended some of the incredible progress we made for the Commonwealth over the last two years. I was proud to help move us forward, passing a package of legislation proposed by the Virginia Minority Business Commission that will uplift our small women- and minority-owned businesses.”

House Democratic Caucus Chair Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46th, Alexandria) said:

“While I am proud of all of our hard work this session to protect the progress we have made over the past two years, our work is not done. Voting rights were under attack this session, and it is imperative that we continue to fight for the voting rights of all Virginians. The VLBC is unceasing in our dedication to make Virginia a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Louise Lucas (D-18th, Portsmouth) said:

“At the start of session, we established ourselves as a brick wall which prevented this new Governor’s Administration from repealing all of the successes that we accomplished over the last two years—especially when it came to criminal justice reform. We were able to hold the line on all of our important issues. I am especially proud to have worked with the Innocence Project to champion legislation that compensates wrongfully incarcerated individuals. I was also proud to sponsor the early student literacy program that we worked to pass this session. Looking ahead—we intend to continue our fight against charter schools and any other effort to take money out of public schools. We will continue the fight to defend the successes that we’ve made and fight efforts that aim to take us back to the past.”

Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Senator Mamie Locke (D-2nd, Hampton) said:

“Senate Democrats were able to be a brick wall against many of the bad bills that came from the House seeking to roll back the progress made over the last two years. We still have work to do to ensure that our progress in education, health care, criminal justice reform, and the environment remain intact. We will not go back.”

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