RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/WDBJ) – Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 739 into state law Wednesday.
“This is a very very important day to reestablish that recognition that parents have a fundamental right to make decisions in regards to their children’s education, their upbringing and their care,” said Youngkin, (R) Virginia.
The measure, sponsored by Republican Henrico State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, empowers parents to make decisions about masking wearing inside schools and not local school boards.
“Parents make the decisions for their children. The political entities need to get out. Put the decision, parents are perfectly capable,” said Dunnavant.
Earlier in the day, the Virginia House of Delegates approved the bill on a party line vote, after the governor added some amendments. The Virginia Senate approved it late Tuesday.
The governor also added a provision giving school districts until March 1 to develop a plan to comply with the law.
House Democrats tried several procedural moves Wednesday to tank the legislation, but failed. They contend it’s too soon to lift mask mandates inside schools and the law could make it harder to deal with potential future COVID-19 outbreaks.
“What we saw was democratic leadership in the senate partner with Senator Dunnavant to pull this bill together,” said Governor Youngkin.