The first Republican governor in 12 years has officially taken his oath of office. In his speech Youngkin reiterated his stance on many key campaign issues, pledging to “restore trust in government and to restore power to the people”. Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares were also sworn in as the top three Virginia offices all changed hands to the GOP. Republicans across the nation are watching Youngkin’s first moves as they hope to replicate his success during midterms later this year. As such, Youngkin wasted no time making good on his campaign promises, signing 11 executive orders. Here are a selection of the most impactful and the new administration’s comments on their intent:
Executive Orders 1 and 2 pledge to end divisive concepts in schools, including Critical Race Theory and the statewide K-12 mask mandate. Youngkin said he was committed to “keeping schools safely open five days a week”, increasing teacher pay, and investing in at least 20 new charter schools.
Executive Order 4 initiates an investigation into Loudon County’s notorious mishandling of a sexual assault case involving a reportedly transgender student. Youngkin also announced a “tough on crime” stance with new Attorney General Miyares. They pledge to fully fun law enforcement and boost spending for higher salaries and better training.
Executive Order 6 declares Virginia “open for business”. Though tax changes require legislate approval, Youngkin’s Day One plan includes eliminating the grocery tax, temporarily suspending the increased gas tax, and requiring voter approval for property taxes. One of two additional executive directives signed by the new governor intends to slash regulations on business in the state.
It remains to be seen how much support Youngkin will garner in Virginia, having narrowly won by less than 2 points, and what it means for Republicans across the nation as attention turns toward midterm elections.