A Breakdown of Youngkin’s Executive Actions

Republican Glenn Youngkin has officially taken office as the new Governor of Virginia. Here is what he has done so far during his first few days.

A Breakdown of Youngkins Executive Actions

By: Njeri Jackson

The new governor, Glenn Youngkin, was inaugurated on Saturday, January 15th. He quickly signed numerous executive actions, starting deliverance of his promises made during his campaign. Youngkin is the first Republican governor Virginia has had since 2009, marking a predicted change for Virginia as Democratic policies under former-governor Ralph Northam change. He says that his “Day One Game Plan” includes 59 pieces of legislation that deal with budget amendments, business initiatives, and “restoring excellence to education” to name a few. 

His first executive order ended the use of “divisive concepts,” which includes Critical Race Theory, in education, which he believed hindered students from having the opportunity to “gain important facts, core knowledge, formulate their own opinions, and to think for themselves.” 

The second executive order is probably one of the biggest moves he has made, allowing parents to decide whether or not their child wears a mask in school or not. This policy adheres to his promise to “empower Virginia parents” and give them more control of their child’s education.

Executive Order three aims at restoring the integrity of the Parole Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For those that don’t know, the Parole Board is a group appointed by the governor composed of five members that grant or deny parole, detain violators, and revoke parole. The members, as of now, are Chadwick Dotson, who is serving as chairman, Hank Partin, Cheryl Nici-O’Connell, Carmen Williams, and Tracy Banks.

The fourth executive order directly relates to LCPS. It authorizes an investigation of the school system by the Attorney General, which was motivated by the incident of sexual assault that occurred at Stonebridge and Woodgrove. He believes it is a problem that the administration kept key details away from parents, which is against his message of empowering parents. Youngkin believes that Virginia parents deserve answers from the School Board and school system that he claims have been held accountable for “deceiving the very Virginians they serve.”

The fifth order created the Commonwealth Chief Transformation Officer which is supposed to connect the people and government more by creating a “culture of transparency, accountability, and constructive across government.” The Officer represents that the government works for the people and emphasizes on the importance of the government helping the people.

Executive Order Number Six also addresses the regulations that are “burdensome” to Virginia businesses. This order addresses the COVID regulations specifically, and calls for a review of whether certain regulations are necessary or not. Youngkin claims that the regulations now are not combating the spread of COVID, so he believes that it should be reassessed. He thinks that theses regulations that are not working are harming businesses.

The seventh executive order addresses concerns of human trafficking. The order aims to combat it and support those that have been a victim. He is initiating an establishment of the Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support Commission  which would help deal with these issues. 

The eighth executive order establishes a commission to combat antisemitism. Antisemitism, for those that don’t know, is essentially prejudice towards Jewish people. There has been a rise of threats towards this group of people, and Youngkin aims to stop the rise of violence so that “all Virginians are free to live their lives without the threat of harassment, violence, or discrimination.”

Executive Order Number Nine is an initiative that will withdraw Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which he believes is making electricity more expensive for Virginians. He sees this as a problem because “electricity is a necessity” and the rising cost can create problems for hospitals, families, and businesses. 

In addition to these nine executive orders, Youngkin also initiated two executive directives in addition to these executive orders. The first one attempts to jump start the economy through cutting off job killing regulations by 25%. This would help to ease the burden on businesses and individuals who lose time, money, and energy from these regulations. The second one addresses vaccination mandates. He aims to “restore individual freedoms and personal privacy” by revoking the vaccine mandate for all state employees.

In the upcoming months, Virginia is sure to see many changes because of the change of power. There is sure to be opposition, as already seen in protests and refusals to comply with orders from smaller institutions like certain school districts refusing to comply with the optional mask policy. Whatever happens, Youngkin will likely push forward with his initiatives, leading the state on an unusual conservative route.