Virginia Legislature Makes Bipartisan Move To End School Mask Mandates

Virginia legislature makes bipartisan move to end school mask mandates

Virginia legislature makes bipartisan move to end school mask mandates

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A bipartisan group of Virginia Lawmakers moved to end mask mandates in the state’s schools as Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s executive order doing the same faces multiple court challenges.

A group of 10 State Senate Democrats voted with Republicans for an amendment that would allow parents to opt their children out of masking in schools, a rule that aligns with the Youngkin order, which was signed on his first day in office last month.

Virginia Gov.  Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
(Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

YOUNGKIN RESPONDS TO SCHOOL MASK MANDATE PUSHBACK FROM VIRGINIA SCHOOLS

“We needed to solve this ourselves. And we will,” Democratic State Rep. Chap Petersen told the Washington Post. “I don’t like executive orders. We need to act to end the mask wars.”

The measure amends a Republican-led bill aimed at requiring schools to teach in person, which will be up for a final vote Wednesday. The amendment was adopted on a 29-9 vote.

“We had a bipartisan coalition. We’ve talked about this for almost a month now, and this was the solution that we chose,” Peterson said in an interview with ABC 8News following the vote.

Virginia Gov.  Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
(REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)

The legislation will now move to the State House, where a 52-48 GOP majority likely ensures passage.

Youngkin celebrated the vote in a statement Tuesday, indicating he planned on signing the legislation when it reaches his desk.

“In the last week, we have seen Democrat-led states like Oregon, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware move away from universal mask mandates in schools. I am pleased that there is bipartisan support for doing the same in Virginia,” the governor said. said. “This shows that when we work across the aisle, we put Virginians first. I look forward to signing this bill when it comes to my desk.”

Virginia Gov.  Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
(AP Photo / Julio Cortez)

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Several lawsuits are winding their way through the courts regarding the governor’s order and could be rendered moot by the bill.

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