Virginia Democrats changed their tune on mandatory masking just days after shaming Gov. Glenn Youngkin for not wearing a mask in a grocery store and supporting Northern Virginia’s fight to keep universal school masking in place.
Ten of the 21 Democrats in Virginia’s state Senate voted for an amendment to an education bill that would end school mask mandates, according to The Washington Post. The move comes amid a national shift in Democrats’ stance on mandatory masking. The amendment passed 29-9 in the Democrat-controlled state Senate on Tuesday.
Virgina’s state Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw was among those who voted to end school mask mandates.
Days earlier, Saslaw cheered Northern Virginia school districts’ universal masking requirement which defied an executive order banning mask mandates. Saslaw cited an incident in which a woman yelled at Youngkin for not wearing a mask in a grocery store in Alexandria, where there is no mask mandate in place, calling the heckler “brave.”
“A win for common sense and science. As the brave checkout clerk said yesterday in Alexandria…read the room, @GovernorVA!” Saslaw tweeted on Feb. 4.
Democratic state Sen. Chap Petersen proposed the amendment to allow parents to choose whether their children should wear masks after vocally opposing Youngkin’s executive order banning school mask mandates a month earlier, the Post reported. “We needed to solve this ourselves,” he reportedly said. “I don’t like executive orders.”
The legislation will have to pass another vote in the Senate and a vote in the House before it reaches the governor’s desk, according to WTOP News.
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