State Democrats unveil 2020 legislative agenda

State Democrats unveil 2020 legislative agenda

Slate includes Equal Rights Amendment, raising minimum wage, expanding affordable housing

By: Sydney Lake |  Virginia Business

Gov. Ralph Northam and the leaders of the state legislature’s new Democratic majority unveiled their 11-point ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’ for the General Assembly session that begins Wednesday.

House Speaker-designee Eileen Filler-Corn, incoming Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, incoming House Majority Leader Charniele Herring and incoming Senate Caucus Chair Mamie Locke announced the plan with Northam on Tuesday.

“We are presenting an agenda that is different from every previous General Assembly session,” Northam said in a statement. “It’s more forward-looking than ever before, and it reflects what Virginians sent us here to do.”

The ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’ includes:

  • Passing the Equal Rights Amendment;
  • Restoring women’s reproductive rights;
  • Expanding affordable housing;
  • Banning housing and employment discrimination;
  • Raising the minimum wage;
  • Making voting easier;
  • Reforming criminal justice;
  • Advancing gun safety measures;
  • Fighting climate change/protecting natural resources;
  • Increasing education funding; and
  • Expanding transit and broadband.

“We have a lot to do,” Saslaw said in a statement. “We’re going to make sure that Virginia becomes an even better place to work and do business, and we’re going to invest in our future.”

The General Assembly convenes at 12 p.m. Wednesday. Northam will deliver his State of the Commonwealth address at 7 p.m.