Youngkin announces meeting date for veterans survivors task force

The first meeting of the Preserving Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Task Force will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. June 10 at the War Memorial in Richmond, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Friday.

The task force was established to address recent changes made by the General Assembly to the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP).

I am proud that so many Virginians, especially the many veterans who have already reached out to volunteer on behalf of our military families and all Virginians, are coming together to offer solutions to help preserve and sustain this important program for the future,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a news release. “The Task Force will give stakeholders a venue to provide important information on the program, express their concerns and offer feedback on implementation guidance and suggestions for changes.”

The release states that General Assembly members have been invited to formally participate in the task force.

Virginians can provide feedback to the Task Force ahead of the June 10th meetingby emailing PreservingVMSDEP@governor.virginia.gov.

According to the release, the Task Force will be co-chaired by Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Craig Crenshaw, a retired Major General in the United States Marine Corps, and Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera. Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and their offices will participate in the Task Force’s work.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Governor takes final action on bills

Governor Glenn Youngkin took final action on legislation returned to his desk after the General Assembly rejected his proposed amendments.

The governor signed seven bills into law and vetoed 48. The signed bills included:

  • SB 498 – School-connected overdose policies, guidelines, parental notification and response: The Virginia Senate accepted the Governor’s recommendation, which returned the bill to its stronger original version. The House of Delegates rejected it. The bill allows the Board of Education to establish guidelines. Youngkin said that work will begin immediately. In addition, Executive Order 28, which establishes a 24-hour parental notification standard for all school-connected overdoses, remains in effect.
  • HB 707 & SB 361- Consumer Data Protection Act, protections for children: The Governor’s recommendation would have expanded protections for children from harmful social media practices online to minors over the age of 13 from protection, but Youngkin said he could sign the bill as the Administration works with the legislature and stakeholders to further strengthen these protections next session.
  • HB 1055- Membership of the Eastern VA Health Sciences Center at Old Dominion University board of directors: The Governor’s recommendation strengthened the ability of the General Assembly and the executive branch to oversee the new board established by the forthcoming merger of Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University.
  • SB 142- Public school teacher licensing and issuance of a one-year local eligibility license: Youngkin said that while legislative changes will be necessary next session to make it more effective, the bill as it currently stands will improve the ability to hire teachers.
  • HB 214- Common interest communities: This bill was sent to the Governor’s desk in the “7-day” bill window during the 2024 Regular Session. Youngkin said additional review was needed and the relevant agencies have been consulted.
  • HB 1071- Reduction of speed limits; local authority: Youngkin said additional work will need to be done on this policy.

A complete list of the legislation is available at the governor’s website, governor.virginia.gov.

Gov. Youngkin acts on 84 bills

Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday took action on 84 bills, signing 64 into law, amending 12 and vetoing eight.

“These bills cover a wide range of topic areas but demonstrate my continuing commitment to lowering the cost of living for Virginians, streamlining regulations, supporting our veterans, ensuring safe communities, and improving government efficiency,” the governor said. “In addition, I have returned several bills to the General Assembly with amendments, hopeful that they will be reviewed with serious consideration.”

The full list of signed bills is available here.

The governor’s full veto statements are available here.

VDOE approves JMU lab school

The Virginia Board of Education (VDOE) approved James Madison University’s Lab School for Innovation and Career Exploration in partnership with Blue Ridge Community College and
Rockingham County public schools.

The lab school will foster innovation, grant career exposure
to students, and serve as a preprofessional teacher development that sustains JMU’s teacher preparation and licensure efforts.

Governor Youngkin has $100 million funded to lab schools
through the General Assembly.

The VDOE is working with 20 more lab schools of higher education to open in 2024.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia teachers could see pay increase

Virginia public school teachers could see a pay increase if Delegate Clark’s (D-Suffolk) bill makes it through the General Assembly.

The bill would require that state teachers and support staff be paid at or above the national average.

That is currently about $5000 more than what they bring home currently.

House Bill 187 and Senate Bill 104 states that teachers would receive a 3% increase for the 24/25 year and an additional 7% in 26/27 school year.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

TVRC host an after legislative luncheon

An email from Top of Virginia Regional Chamber (TVRC) announced a post legislative luncheon.

The event will look at recently passed legislation that will make it easier to do business in Virginia.

A discussion on the upcoming special session of the General Assembly and the issues that lawmakers face.

A discussion will also take place on the legislation that was not passed in the past session.

The luncheon will be held at the George Washington A Wyndham Grand Hotel in Winchester Apr. 7 from noon to 2 p.m..

Space is limited for this event with registration necessary which you can do here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Gov. Youngkin wants a gas tax holiday

An email from Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that he is seeking a gas tax holiday for Virginia.

The governor sent a bill to the General Assembly for their special session calling for suspension of the gas tax for 3 months.

Youngkin  proposes using the over $4 million in unanticipated transportation revenues to support the gas tax holiday.

The governor’s proposal would also cap the annual adjustment to the gas tax at no more than 2 percent per year to further protect Virginians from the hidden tax increase of inflation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Luray resumes disconnections of utilities

light up luray

The Governor’s State of Emergency because of the Coronavirus pandemic ended Jun. 30.

With that the General Assembly declared that utility service disconnection could resume August 29.

The town of Luray will resume the normal business practice of utility service disconnection in Sept..

If you have any outstanding utility payments it’s recommended you contact the town of Luray.

You can call (540) 743-5511 to set up a payment plan to address any past due bills.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.