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Del. Sally Hudson addresses education legislation in mid-legislative session town hall

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – As legislative motion in Richmond is transferring alongside at a fast tempo, Del. Sally Hudson, a Democrat who represents Charlottesville and a part of Albemarle County, held a digital town hall to debate key points.

Hudson mentioned it’s been fairly a “breakneck sprint” in Richmond. At the halfway level of the session, she answered questions from constituents.

The town hall got here on the identical day Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin acquired a win, as he signed into legislation a invoice that might finish masks mandates in public faculties.

“We are reaffirming the right all parents have,” he mentioned, “the fundamental rights to make decisions for your children.”

School districts have two weeks to conform, and whereas each Charlottesville and Albemarle County have mentioned they may, their delegate, Hudson, is upset with the legislation.

“I had hoped that ability to try to contain the spread of the infections would continue to be the authority of those local school boards,” she mentioned.

During the town hall, there have been loads of questions on education and that new legislation, one she mentioned could face authorized challenges. She mentioned she’s heard requires potential plaintiffs, probably from “especially vulnerable children.”

“If a school can’t stay open in a way that is healthy and safe for all the kids, then it is a potentially a violation of their rights to a free public education,” she mentioned.

Meanwhile, Hudson mentioned one other main legislative precedence: a invoice that might permit cities and counties to cross a particular gross sales tax to boost cash for varsity building. That invoice was killed in a House subcommittee, however now has one other probability because the Senate handed a model.

“Because that measure had to do with raising taxes, it really didn’t have much appetite from some of the members who currently control the house,” Hudson mentioned.

The delegate mentioned she’s cautiously optimistic about its destiny and shared a message for her Republican colleagues.

“Republicans have other priorities for what they want to do with the state budget besides funding school construction,” Hudson mentioned. “If they’re not going to put a lot of state money into school construction and renovation, then they kind of need to get out of the way of localities who are willing to raise it themselves.”

Hudson mentioned that some education payments handed in the home, like those about banning divisive instructing ideas or requiring faculty useful resource officers, are “dead on arrival” in the Democratic Senate. But she did say that some measures, just like the scaling again of some Ralph Northam-era environmental laws, could take some convincing for Democrats to dam.

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