50 DAYS OUT: The Lieutenant Governor’s Vote is Essential For Protecting Choice, Gun Safety Reform, Workers’ Rights, and More in Virginia

Since 2018, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax has cast 52 tie-breaking votes in his role as President of the state Senate on key issues including protecting affordable, accessible health care and the right to choose, expanding gun safety reform, and more. 

As Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor, Delegate Hala Ayala will serve as the deciding vote to protect the progress the Democratic majority has made over the past few years and advance the Commonwealth’s priorities. 

Health Care

  • H.B. 5001 (2018) — Voted against an amendment that would have required a waiver to be approved by the Department of Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand Medicaid.
  • S.B. 95 (2020) — Voted for the bill’s final passage with House amendments to require insurance companies to include preventative care in all health insurance policies. 
  • H.B. 1428 (2020) — Voted to ensure the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange is fully funded. The amendments would have removed language saying that tax information would not be used to determine if an individual was ineligible for medical assistance.

Reproductive Rights

  • H.B. 5002 (2018) — Voted against an amendment that would have made it so no expenditures could be used to provide abortion services except when required by federal law.
  • S.B. 733 (2020) and H.B. 980 (2020) — Voted to pass a bill expanding who can perform first trimester abortions and repealing TRAP laws, 24-hour-waiting periods, and mandatory ultrasounds. 

Gun Safety Reform

  • H.B. 9 (2020) — Voted to pass a bill requiring individuals to report the loss or theft of firearms to law enforcement agencies.
  • H.B. 674 (2020) — Voted to pass a bill implementing red flag laws. 

LGBTQ+ Rights

  • S.J. 270 (2021) — Voted in favor of the Privileges and Elections Committee substitute that went beyond repealing the same-sex marriage ban by embedding the fundamental right to marry into the Virginia Constitution. 

Criminal Justice Reform and Racial Justice

  • S.B. 1645 (2019) — Voted to pass a bill that would have established a work group to develop a strategy for producing and publishing a comprehensive report on the use of force by Virginia law-enforcement officers, correctional officers, and jail officers.
  • H.B. 1406 (2020) — Voted for final passage of a bill to create the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol to determine whether Robert E. Lee’s statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol should be replaced and, if so, to recommend to the General Assembly a replacement statue. 
  • S.B. 1406 (2021) — Voted to approve Governor Northam’s substitution, which pushed up the timeline to allow adults to possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use from January 1, 2024 to July 1, 2021.

Environment

  • H.B. 2269 (2019) — Voted against a bill that would have made it more difficult to regulate regional transportation sector emissions by requiring  both chambers in a two thirds vote.

Workers’ Rights

  • S.B. 838 (2020) — Voted to pass a bill that increased penalties for failure to pay wages, and made both general contractors and subcontractors jointly liable for the wages of the subcontractors employees.
  • H.B. 395 (2020) — Voted against a series of amendments that would have killed the statewide minimum wage increase, limiting it to mostly the Northern Virginia area.
  • H.B. 622 (2020) — Voted to pass a bill allowing employees to freely share salary information with each other and created civil penalties for businesses prohibiting such sharing of information.