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Republican Leaders Talk 2022 Priorities with Likely Majority in the House of Delegates

Todd Gilbert
Steve Helber/AP
Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, talks with a colleague during the House session at the Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

With a major political shift coming to the state capitol, Republicans are beginning to outline their vision for the 2022 General Assembly session.

Glenn Youngkin’s win and a likely change in the House of Delegates majority have opened the door for a number of bottled up Republican Party priorities to get new life when they take office in two months.

Shenandoah Valley Delegate and House GOP leader Todd Gilbert spoke to some of his top concerns in a news conference early Thursday.

“We believe that a number of things that were passed by the General Assembly under unfettered, undivided Democratic control actually played a large part in the outcome of these elections," Gilbert said. "And so we would hope to send some of these things over to the Senate to right some wrongs.” 

Top roll back targets include voting laws, concerns about marijuana regulation and environmental issues that Gilbert argued increased Virginia’s energy costs. But first and foremost will be an effort to nix proposed changes to school educational standards.

“The schools – through the Department of Education – was about to attempt to put excellence to the side in favor of so-called equity and have that be the core function of our schools," he said. "To do social things as opposed to teaching kids how to think; teaching them what to think instead of how to think.” 

Claims about the Board's proposed changes – though some were unfounded – undoubtedly played a role in motivating Republican voters Tuesday. However, the Board is currently stacked with Democratic appointees with few seats opening up before 2023.

That could create an early roadblock for Youngkin and Gilbert.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.