Governor Ralph Northam Signs Delegate Hala Ayala’s Legislation to Support Virginia Working Families

Northam signed Ayala’s progressive legislation that will aid Virginia women, families, and workers as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

WOODBRIDGE, VA - Governor Ralph Northam signed Delegate Hala Ayala’s legislative agenda supporting Virginia working families passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Her agenda focused on supporting the Commonwealth’s workers, women, and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and moving Virginia forward to a strong future as we recover from this crisis. 

Among the bills signed, Ayala passed legislation to train state employees on public health and safety, study fetal and infant mortality rates in Virginia including racial disparities, expand access to broadband throughout the Commonwealth to help close the digital divide, create outdoor refreshments areas to help small businesses and localities recover from the pandemic, and remove the 30-day waiting period for auto insurance refunds to put more money back into the pockets of Virginians quicker. 

“More than 10,000 Virginians have died, thousands of Virginians fear eviction once the moratorium expires, and one in four Virginia businesses have closed during the pandemic,” said Ayala. “Our Commonwealth is facing a crisis like never before. I am grateful for Governor Northam’s continued leadership during this crisis, which enabled Virginia to weather this crisis better than most other states, and I am grateful for his support for my legislation to protect Virginians, support workers, and help our small businesses recover.”

In addition to the bills signed, the General Assembly funded a study of Ayala’s paid family and medical leave bill in the conference budget, which is the first time that paid family and medical leave has been funded in the budget. Throughout the session, Ayala served as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Communications, Technology, and Innovation and as the Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic Caucus, where she was a critical leader in legalizing marijuana, passing automatic expungement, ensuring prescription drug price transparency, expanding access to abortion care, and implementing Governor Northam’s G3 jobs training program.