Halftime Report: House Republicans Advance the Agenda Voters Sought in November

gshipley2022 General Assembly

When House Republicans began their campaign to take back the majority in 2021, we ran on a platform that was informed by what voters told us they wanted the General Assembly to accomplish on their behalf in 2022. They wanted lower taxes and safer communities. They wanted parents involved in their child’s education, not boxed out.

At the halfway point of the 2022 General Assembly session, House Republicans have delivered on all these items and more.

“When we went to the voters to ask them for a two-year lease on the people’s House, we made it clear that they, not we, would be the drivers behind our agenda,” said Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah.

“As the House completes its work on our legislative priorities, I’m pleased to report that we’ve accomplished what voters sent us here to do,” he added. “We’ve acted to make our schools safer and more responsive to parents. We’ve acted to make our neighborhoods safer, and we’ve acted to put more money back into the pocketbooks of working Virginia families.”

Putting More Money Back in Pockets and Paychecks

“With inflation at its highest level in 40 years, too many families are losing ground. Any raises they get disappear each time they go to the grocery store or the gas station. Republicans ran on a promise to cut taxes, and we’ve followed through on that,” said House Finance Committee Chair Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield.

“We passed a $300 per filer, $600 per couple tax refund. We passed a bill to double the standard deduction, and a bill that will roll back a gas tax hike until prices can come back down. We also took action to lower power bills by rolling back mandates that will cost families $800 per year,” she added. “Families told us they need help, and I’m proud to say we listened.”

Legislative Highlights

HB 90 repeals the grocery tax, giving families an automatic 2.5 percent discount when they go shopping.

HB 1144 temporarily suspends part of the gas tax, giving drivers a break at the pump until prices can come down.

HB 472 doubles the Standard Deduction for Virginia income tax filers, letting Virginians keep more of their own hard-earned paychecks.

HB 118 repeals legislation that would cost Virginians $800 a year more on their electric bills.

HB 935 provides tax rebates of $300 to every filer, $600 to joint filers.

Building Confidence in Our Elections

“When Democrats took control in 2020, they wasted no time in gutting popular, common sense laws that made our elections some of the safest and most secure in the country. On the campaign trail, voters told us they wanted us to help build faith in our system,” said House Privileges and Elections Chair Margaret Ransone. “Our legislation does that by reinstating photo ID, scanning the rolls for deceased voters more often, and giving voters more notice if their registration is about to become inactive.”

Legislative Highlights

HB 1090 restores Virginia’s voter ID law, bringing back photo ID along with providing safeguards for those who may have difficulty obtaining a photo ID.

HB 34 ends the use of unattended drop-boxes for ballots that opened the door to ballot harvesting.

HB 39 tightens Virginia’s early voting period while expanding the hours during which voters can cast their ballots

HB 927 will end late night ‘vote dumps’ by counting absentee ballots in the precinct where they would otherwise be cast.

HB 1140 gives voters more notice in more places if their registration is about to be canceled for some reason.

Putting Parents Back in Charge of Their Children’s Education

“Of all the issues we heard about on the campaign trail, education was the one we heard about the most,” said House Education Committee Chairman Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach. “Parents wanted their children back in school, in person and they wanted to be the ones to decide whether their children wore masks at schools. Our Republican caucus listened and fought for those parents.”

“But parents also told us they wanted choices for their children, and we listened. We passed legislation to expand charter schools and make it easier for our colleges and universities to open lab schools so all students have a chance at a first-class education regardless of zip code,” Davis added. “We voted to put resource officers in every school for the safety of our students. We fought to ensure parents are notified if their students will be studying sexually explicit material. House Republicans want to ensure parents, not bureaucrats, are in charge of their children’s education.”

Legislative Highlights

HB 4 rolls back a 2020 law that made reporting of some serious crimes, including sexual battery, in schools to law enforcement optional.

HB 127 restores race-blind admissions to our Governor’s Schools.

HB 340 ensures that our high school students have multiple options to achieve an advanced diploma.

HB 356 opens the way for “Lab Schools” that will explore better ways to educate students, in collaboration with colleges and universities.

HB 787 bans the teaching that students are better or worse based on the color of their skin, or that they are somehow responsible for the actions of their ancestors.

HB 1009 gives parents notice and the right to opt out if their school will be teaching sexually explicit materials.

HB 873 ensures school resource officers are present in every public school.

HB 1272 puts parents back in charge of whether their children will be masked in school.

HB 563 creates a school construction fund to help local governments rebuild crumbling schools.

Making Our Streets and Neighborhoods Safer for Every Virginian

“So far this session, we have passed bills to reinstitute the presumption against bond for violent felons, restore truth in sentencing, and give our probation officers the tools they need to maintain public safety. We have worked to help crime victims and to let our police know that we have their backs,” said House Courts of Justice Committee Chairman Rob Bell, R-Albemarle.

Legislative Highlights

HB 1303 makes the votes of Parole Board members subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

HB 25 and HB 735 roll back radical changes in ‘good time’ credits for felons, restoring Virginia’s ‘truth in sentencing’ laws that have kept crime low.

HB 750 prohibits quotas for the issuing of tickets or summons by police.

HB 812 restores previous law, repealed in 2020, which creates a rebuttable presumption that people held on trial for certain serious, dangerous crimes such as murder are not eligible for bail.

HB 833 brings Project Ceasefire to Virginia, a proven solution for firearm violence that does not require gun control.

“It’s a radical concept in politics: politicians doing what they said they’d do when they’re elected,” said House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City. “But that’s just what we’ve done in the first half of this 2022 legislative session. We said we’d put parents back in charge of their children’s education. We said we’d cut taxes, and that we’d make our streets safer. Promises made, promises kept.”