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RICHMOND –The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the 2024 Session put down more than a few miles of fresh asphalt on that path.

That’s the overarching theme of the past 60 legislative days, House Republican leaders said during a press conference on Saturday just before the House adjourned sine die.

“Every single member of this body ran at least part of their campaign on how we would fight the higher cost of living that Virginians are facing due to inflation. Republicans had ideas to help, such as ending the grocery tax, and cutting taxes on hard working families,” said Republican Whip Michael Webert, R-Fauquier.

“Those ideas were summarily rejected. That’s par for the course when you’re in the minority,” Webert added. “But what we didn’t expect was Democrats working to actively make things worse.”

Democrats voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, even on farms, which will drive businesses and farmers out of business. Democrats also blocked efforts to let Virginians buy the cars they want by maintaining an electric vehicle mandate.

In addition to the cost of living issues Democrats exacerbated, they made things worse in other areas.


“What Democrats fail to realize is that money doesn’t teach our children. People do. These are hard working teachers who need our support as they do their jobs,” said Deputy Leader Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington. “For two sessions in a row, Republicans have introduced legislation that would put teachers back in charge of their classrooms. If a student is unruly or disruptive three times, they can be sent to the principal’s office. If they’re violent, they go immediately.”

Democrats took a different path, passing legislation that makes it even harder to remove a student who is disruptive during educational time.

They also killed legislation that would have made it clear that school boards can create policies prohibiting cell phone use during educational time, cut funding for the Governor’s Diploma plus and lab school program. They defeated legislation that would have required schools to alert parents within 24 hours if there’s an overdose in the school.

And they cut millions of dollars from our school resource officer grant program at a time when we need more trained professionals in our schools watching for fentanyl and other dangerous drugs.

“Our teachers and students need help, and Democrats just made it worse,” O’Quinn said.


“Democrats spent a lot of time this session talking about how housing is unaffordable, and that they need to do something. What did they propose? They took two separate tracks – one, they attempted to bring rent control to Virginia, or as one economist described it, the fastest way to destroy a city, other than bombing,” said Republican Caucus Chair Amanda Batten, R-James City County. “The other was to put more and more regulations onto those who own rental properties, driving up the costs of doing business.”

“Democrats are full of good intentions, but they never take the time to see how their good intentions play out in the real world,” Batten said. “The end result is higher costs for those who own rental property or build homes, which lessens the supply. Rents and costs go up accordingly.”

Public Safety

“The last time Democrats were in charge, they made it clear that they were far more concerned with the comfort of criminals than they were with the safety of our communities or the impact on crime victims,” Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah said. “This session was no different. They brought forward budget amendments that will let people convicted of serious crimes out of jail earlier, particularly those who commit crimes with guns.”

Rather than focus on programs that work to save lives from gun violence, Democrats came after law-abiding gun owners in an effort to make life harder for them.

They also attempted to change the law to let illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes avoid deportation, and they passed a bill to prevent judges and prosecutors from asking about someone’s immigration status.

If Republicans return the majority, so will results – not just good intentions.

“Next session, Republicans will bring forward a series of bills that will address all these issues and more,” said Leader Gilbert. “ Democrats have made your life more difficult. If Virginians return Republicans to control of the House, we will immediately pass bills that will make your life more affordable, keep your family safer, and improve your children’s education.”