1 Month of Republican Governance in a Blue State
On January 15th, after 8 years of democratic governance in Virginia, the commonwealth of Virginia swore in a Republican governor. To put it into perspective, this was only a year after Biden won the state of Virginia by over 10 percent. It has almost been a month since the Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, has been sworn in, yet major changes have already been made. The first change was limiting the mask mandate, as the previous democratic governor, Ralph Northam, maintained a mask mandate until the end of his term. On his first day in office, the current governor issued an executive order to ban school mask mandates. This order was met with some resistance, as 7 of Virginia’s liberal school districts ignored the order and even suspended students who did not wear their masks. Many parents were outraged by this and protested on February 9th. Not only were they unhappy with the school’s mask mandate, but also with the fact that some schools continued to teach the Critical Race Theory even after the governor issued an executive order banning it from schools. The final major change was his new environmental policy, withdrawing the state of Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a state-based cooperation agreement based on limiting carbon emissions. This change shows that Virginia will be heading into a more conservative environmental policy.