by shay bell
The year is 2024, and we’re still fighting to balance the scales for everyone. Conservatives are putting up roadblocks at every turn, and I couldn’t roll my eyes harder if I tried. High on our radar here at Progress Virginia are some long overdue bills for passage. First up, SJ11, because why haven’t we legalized same-sex marriage? SJ11 repeals the prohibition on same-sex marriage, affirming the right to marry for all in the Commonwealth. Amplifying this bill, SB101 affirms legal marriage regardless of the sex, gender, or race of parties. We’ve seen Conservative politicians block bills like these before, but it’s beyond time to codify marriage equality. I mean, after all, isn’t Virginia for Lovers?
Another issue on our radar is HB1. Give us our money!!! House Bill One raises the current minimum wage from $12 to $13.50 to be taken into effect in 2025. With inflation skyrocketing, Virginians simply aren’t being paid enough to combat the cost of living, especially when one in eight people working in our Commonwealth aren’t being paid minimum wage.
Last but certainly not least, we’re watching for various climate equity bills to ensure Virginia won’t collapse before our eyes. Yes, Youngkin is actively working against our climate change efforts, but we’re not going to let him stand in the wair of clean air and water. HB1000 is a good bill to look out for as it establishes a task force specifically tasked with environmental justice, particularly relating to minority and low-income communities. Supporting this bill means we’d be getting environmental justice right where we need it, in the most affected areas of our Commonwealth. In opposition, however, HB7 seeks to repeal the State Air Pollution Control Board authority and remove the zero and low-carbon emission regulations on vehicles. This would do much more damage to our environment than we already have and would further perpetuate our current poor air quality and water standards. We must oppose this bill!
There you have it; from our radar to yours, those are just a few bills to keep an eye on these next few weeks. Keep up with all things sessions on our socials, and don’t forget to look out for our weekly emails with some action alerts on how you can be a voice for your community!