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ICYMI: VA House Democrats Discuss Priority Bills – Minimum Wage Increase, Assault Rifle Ban – Passing the House of Delegates

"Both bills passed the House of Delegates on a party line vote"

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From the VA House Dems:

ICYMI: House Democrats Discuss Priority Bills Passing the House

House of Delegates Passes Minimum Wage Increase and Assault Rifle Ban 

RICHMOND, VA – Following the passage of two key bills, House Democrats and advocates gathered to share updates on progress made toward its economic and community safety priorities. HB1 (Ward) increases the minimum wage in the Commonwealth to $15 per hour by January 2026. HB2 (Helmer) bans the purchase, sale, transfer, etc., of assault firearms and certain ammunition.

Both bills passed the House of Delegates on a party line vote (51-49) on Friday, February 2nd. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

[House Democrats and Advocates Gather in the General Assembly Building]

“It is not normal to fear for your life or your child’s life when they go to school, take a field trip, go to the store, or walk in your neighborhood. This is a fear that I have when I drop my own children off at school – that perhaps this is the day that I will get a call about an active shooter,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathy Tran at the press conference. “I am grateful for my colleagues Chairwoman Ward and Delegate Helmer for their leadership and dedication to making our communities a little bit better and a little safer for families all across the Commonwealth.”

House Labor and Commerce Chair Jeion Ward said, “In this chamber, we have seen founding fathers, we’ve seen a future congresswoman, but above all else, we’ve seen history being made for better or for worse. When I leave this place, I want to ensure that the legacy I leave is on the right side of history. It is a slap in the face to expect someone to work hours and hours on end, often in jobs that are less than desirable, and still not be able to make ends meet or provide for their families. Where is the dignity in that?”

“Our caucus is full of parents, educators, and veterans who know that our streets aren’t war zones — or at least they shouldn’t be. It’s time for the Governor to stand with a vast majority of Virginians to keep high capacity magazines and assault weapons out of our streets and keep our communities safe,” said Delegate Dan Helmer, who represents the 10th House District.

Last month, Democrats shared their message pillars for the session,  Keep Virginia Moving Forward, highlighting the economy and community safety as key priorities through the pillars: Fostering an Economy that Works for Hardworking Virginians and Keeping Virginia Communities and our Children Safe.

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