Gov. Glenn Youngkin enacts 11 day-one executive orders

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 6:19 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Newly elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin enacted 11 executive orders on his first day in office.

From the classroom to the air we breathe, some of them are causing a lot of controversy; however, Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said one person can’t make many sweeping policy changes all at once.

“The ingenious things about our government – at the federal level or the state level – is one person can’t make that many unilateral policy moves,” he said.

He said day-one orders are often symbolic.

“To some degree, orders and directives are about making sure those folks who worked hard to get him elected, went out and knocked on doors, who did that sort of work, knows that on day one they’ve not been forgotten,” he said.

Executive Orders

1. Youngkin delivers on a promise from his campaign: banning critical race theory. In the order, Youngkin promises to “restore excellence” in schools and ban “divisive concepts.” In it, he also outlines heightened standards for Virginia schools. You can read the full order here.

2. Another popular promise from his campaign: ending mandatory masking in schools. The order says parents have the choice whether or not students wear masks, and teachers can’t require them to. Some school districts like Nelson and Albemarle are still asking students to mask up, saying they’re going to follow the public health order that says schools must follow CDC recommendations. Read the order here.

3. Youngkin promises to restore integrity and confidence to the Virginia Parole Board. Martin said the parole board has released violent offenders without proper notice or transparency.

“My office was one of many around the state who had very violent folks released without any notice to us or notice to victims, or in the case of homicides, notice to the victim’s families,” Martin said.

With E.O. 3, all members of the parole board were hired, and Youngkin will select five new members. Read the order here.

4. He says he will “investigate wrongdoing” into Loudoun County Public Schools. Youngkin writes in the order:

“In the Spring of 2021, the Loudoun County School Board and the administration of the Loudoun County Public Schools were made aware of a sexual assault that occurred in a Loudoun County high school. A decision was made to transfer the assailant to another Loudoun County high school, where the student was able to commit a second sexual assault.”

The attorney general will investigate alleged crimes. Read the order here.

5. Youngkin says he will create a new position: Chief Transformation Officer. In E.O. 5, he says some agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Employment Commission aren’t operating well, so he wants to pursue a statewide audit. Read the order here.

6. He says he will combat measures like shutdowns and training requirements to declare Virginia “open for business.” He says the current regulations “impose heavy burdens” and don’t protect customers. Read the order here.

7. To combat and prevent human trafficking, Youngkin says he is starting a commission to protect Virginians. He also outlines ways to empower survivors and increase education. Read the order here.

8. He also says he will combat antisemitism with a Commission to Combat Antisemitism. In the order, Youngkin outlines the duties and creation of the commission. Read the order here.

9. Youngkin plans to review Virginia’s involvement with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He says reliable and affordable housing and heat is important to the commonwealth, and he’s moving forward with a plan to leave the RGGI. Read the order here.

Executive Directives

1. Youngkin says he will cut workplace regulations. He says regulations impose a burden on the economy, so he’s going to review current laws. Read the directive here.

2. Finally, he says he’ll “restore individual freedoms” and remove the vaccine mandate for state employees. The order also says KN95 musts be available for visitors and employees at state buildings. Read the directive here.

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