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Gov. Youngkin visits Hampton Roads for first time since taking office

Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Posted at 8:41 AM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 18:23:01-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Gov. Glenn Youngkin touched on several hot-button issues during a visit to Hampton Roads on Thursday.

During the afternoon, Youngkin visited a business called Drone Up, which is innovating drone delivery services.

"We got a chance to see Hampton Roads doing something extraordinary," he said.

The company has grown ten-fold, with continued plans to make hires.

"I think this was an opportunity to get some future training from the state on programs that would help us hire veterans," said Tom Walker, the founder and CEO of the company.

Youngkin also met with supporters at the restaurant Anchor Allie's, where he talked about his tax plan. Youngkin believes the state can eliminate the state's grocery tax without making budget cuts to programs like education due to the state's budget surplus.

"This is a chance for us to get taxes down and to invest in all things we need to invest in," he said.

While he tries to tout his ideas on lowering taxes, the early weeks of his administration have faced controversy, including over his executive order making masks optional in schools.

On Wednesday, the the Virginia Senate voted 21-17 to make masks optional at schools, which is in line with the governor's controversial executive order.

Related: Gov. Youngkin defends executive orders

House Speaker Todd Gilbert announced Thursday the House Education Committee will take up the Senate's bill on Friday morning in an effort to get it passed to the governor as quickly as possible.

Youngkin said he plans to attach an emergency clause to it to get it to take effect immediately.

"It does give parents the ability to opt out, and that's really exciting. I hope we can get this bill effective in the next couple of weeks," he said.

Another controversy is over his first executive order banning "inherently divisive concepts" from being taught in schools.

He's faced backlash from education groups on that. Several have called on him to rescind that order.

Before coming to Virginia Beach on Thursday, Youngkin visited Fort Monroe and Point Comfort, where slavery began in America more than 400 years ago.

The visit was closed to the press.

"We had a chance with community leaders to fully get absorbed into all that's there," he said.

Youngkin says he believes the history of slavery should be fully incorporated into curriculum.

"There is a lot for us to teach and that's important because we're going to teach all history - all of it - the good, the bad. We can't know where we're going unless we know where we've come from," he said.