Virginia NAACP Reports on 2024 Legislative Agenda Ahead of Reconvene Session

Today, the NAACP Virginia State Conference (Virginia NAACP) held a press conference to provide a report on our 2024 Legislative Agenda and the Governor’s actions during the General Assembly session. During today’s press conference, Rev. Bailey was joined by Virginia NAACP Region 1 Vice President and Political Action Chair Gaylene Kanoyton, Environmental Climate Justice Chair Karen Campblin, Housing Chair Tracey Hardney-Scott, Ty’Leik Chambers, President Youth & College Division, and Valerie Slater, Executive Director for RISE FOR Youth to discuss legislation championed by the Virginia NAACP.

The Virginia NAACP expressed deep disappointment in the bills that the legislature sent for signature, only to have Governor Youngkin veto them. The vetoes or amendments to bills presented to the Governor represent a disregard for legislation that would strengthen families across the Commonwealth.

The Virginia NAACP Youth & College Division addressed Governor Younkin’s recent actions to review the syllabi for VCU’s Racial Literacy Requirement courses are deeply concerning. Ty’Leik Chambers, President Youth& College Division, stated:

This move is not an isolated incident but fits into a troubling pattern of targeting programs aimed at promoting racial equity and understanding in our educational institutions.

Virginia NAACP President Rev. Cozy Bailey, Sr.  shared the following statement about the actions of the Governor:

His actions, both in the vetoes he made and the modifications to an excellent budget that was presented to him, have forced us to move from negotiation to litigation. This Governor has driven us to litigation because he has refused to adhere to the laws of the land in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The following bills, which we had high hopes for, were vetoed or amended by the Governor:

  • The Prescription Drug Affordability Board – In a press release from our partners at Freedom Virginia, Gaylene Kanoyton is quoted as, “The high cost of health care affects everyone, and it hits Black and Latino communities the hardest. While I had hoped the Governor would understand the gravity of this issue, he clearly does not.” Many Virginians have to choose between rent and meds or grocery and meds, and this should not be the case. We urge members to overturn the veto, or we look forward to bringing PDAB back in a future session.
  • Gun Violence Prevention – Virginians are dying every day due to gun violence, and the bills we supported could deter gun violence and save lives; being realistic, we know the conditions do not exist to overturn these vetoes, but we will work with our partners to advance gun violence prevention.
  • Commonsense Voting Advancement Legislation – The Virginia NAACP advocated for Virginia’s return to ERIC (SB6026 and HB1177). ERIC is a nonprofit organization seeking to improve electoral integrity by helping states improve the accuracy of their voter rolls and increase access to voter registration.
  • HB1/SB1 to Increase the Minimum Wage – The Virginia NAACP will continue to fight for $15.
  • Continued efforts to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – His Budget Amendment 152 for HB30 and Amendment 5 for HB29 remove language that would have resulted in Virginia re-entering RGGI.
  • Healthy Communities – SB595, bills that would have required the state to adopt model public education policies on climate change and environmental literacy, permitted college instructors to request non-confidential garnishment data for research purposes, and created penalties for shop owners who fail to identify invasive plants they sell; and HB1100.
  • Virginians need not only transit options but a safe transportation system that should include amenities to support walking, biking, and taking public transit.  This includes proper funding for Metrorail.
  • Protection from Utilities Disconnection Due to Nonpayment during a Governor Declared State of Emergency – SB276, which would have created a path for consumers to have access to an affordable financing program for energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades.
  • Amendments to remove consumer protection for residential solar storage.
  • The Right to Contraception Act
  • HB588 mandates that before a landlord issues a 21-day notice to terminate a rental agreement for a dwelling unit damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty, they must make a reasonable effort to meet with the tenant to discuss alternatives. This includes offering the tenant a substantially similar unit, if available, or reevaluating the extent of damage and habitability of the unit upon the tenant’s request. This bill promotes fairness and ensures that tenants are not unfairly displaced due to circumstances beyond their control.
  • Amendments to HB588 and HB597 – These bills will be amended to include a reenactment clause and direct the Department of Housing and Community Development to examine the legislation within the framework of multiple bills modifying the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
  • HB442 allowed Mandatory Payment Plans – to allow for a proposed mandatory payment plan for delinquent residents.
  • HB 598: Extension of Pay or Quit Notice Period to extend the pay-or-quit notice period to 14 days.
  • Juvenile Justice Reform Bills – The bills vetoed are designed to help build a youth justice system that serves youth and keeps families and communities safe by addressing and meeting the needs of the whole youth, not just the behaviors that may lead to justice system involvement.

The Virginia NAACP urges the General Assembly to sign the bills as they were presented to Governor Youngkin when it reconvenes on April 17, 2024. The Virginia NACP will continue to fight to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.

The Virginia NAACP legislative priorities can be found here.

The press can download a copy of the press conference here.

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Chartered in 1935, the NAACP Virginia State Conference (Virginia NAACP) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the Commonwealth. The Virginia NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for civil rights due to Black Virginians. Representing over 100 NAACP adult branches, youth councils, and college chapters, together, we fight to build the social and political power required to abolish racial discrimination in localities throughout Virginia. To learn more about the work of the Virginia NAACP and the issues we advocate for, visit

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