FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yesterday, on a bipartisan 61-38 vote, the Virginia House of Delegates voted on the final passage of HB1940, the Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus’ bill to allow middle and high school students to take an excused absence for civic engagement. With the General Assembly’s passage, the bill will be sent to Governor Ralph Northam for his signature.
The General Assembly’s passage is due to the work of teen Democrats and Republicans alike who united in support of a common cause. HB1940 was sponsored by Del. Sam Rasoul, while the Senate companion, SB1439, was sponsored by Sen. Jenn McClellan.
“Virginia is set to be the first state in the union to implement this kind of policy statewide, making our Commonwealth a national leader in student civic engagement,” Teen Caucus Chair Matthew Savage said. “While others were making memes, Virginia teen Democrats were making history.”
Our two organizations are proud of the fact that both pieces of legislation have gained bipartisan support, all House and Senate Democrats supported this effort and 7 House Republicans and 4 Senate Republicans broke party lines to support HB1940 and SB1439.
“The Teenage Republican Federation of Virginia is proud of our bipartisan work with the VAYD Teens Caucus,” TRFV Chairman Brady Hillis said. “I think that our work is a good lesson for the elected officials we are lobbying, showing that if we can do it, you can do it, too.”
“I am doubly heartened by this bill, not only because it was the idea of and has been very passionately advocated on behalf of by Democrats and Republicans, but by members of a generation, who have been pretty skeptical about government and whether government can address their needs and if their voices even matter,” Sen. Jennifer McClellan said. “So by passing this bill we can show not only that their voices matter but we can encourage them to make their voices heard.”