RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia school principals will have to once again report certain misdemeanors to law enforcement after Democrats in the state Senate voted with Republicans to pass one of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s legislative priorities.

The Virginia Senate advanced the bill, introduced by Del. Scott Wyatt (R-Hanover), to Gov. Youngkin’s desk on a 27-13 vote. It was one of many proposals backed by Youngkin to roll back a law giving principals and superintendents discretion on reporting some misdemeanors that occur on school grounds.

Under the current law, administrators have to report felonies but have discretion when referring students to law enforcement for misdemeanor-level offenses in Virginia. These include assault and battery, threats made against school employees, alcohol or drug use and stalking.

Wyatt’s bill, which would restore the requirement, received bipartisan support in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly and is expected to be signed by the governor.

“As another priority from his game one day plan moves through the legislative process, the governor looks forward to reviewing it when it comes to his desk because reporting incidents in schools is critically important for the safety of kids across Virginia,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement.

Democratic lawmakers who advocated for the law in 2020 argued the old policy helped fuel the school-to-prison pipeline, citing reports showing Virginia topping the nation in referring students to law enforcement. They said the change was meant to prevent students from getting criminal records for low-level offenses that could be resolved through the school’s disciplinary process.

“I obviously oppose it and will fight against it,” Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who sponsored the Senate’s version of the bill during the 2020 session, said of the Republican effort before the start of the legislative session.

McClellan was one of the 13 Democrats in the Virginia Senate to vote against Wyatt’s bill on Monday, but the legislation still passed with eight other Democrats siding with the 19 Republicans in the chamber. The measure got through the House of Delegates on a 59-40 bipartisan vote.

Virginia state senators did add an amendment to Wyatt’s bill to allow school leaders to have the option to report threats made against school employees to law enforcement if the student accused of doing so “has an individualized education plan.”

These programs are designated for “students with disabilities who need special education,” according to the Virginia Department of Education.

Reports from the Center for Public Integrity using data from the U.S. Department of Education before the new law was implemented showed Virginia leading the nation in referring students to law enforcement. According to one report, Virginia students were reported to the authorities at three times the national rate in the 2017-18 school year.

Republicans expressed outrage over the law on the campaign trail, many pointing to a case in Loudoun County where a high student was charged with sexually assaulting another student in a bathroom but then was transferred to another school within the district.

The student was convicted for the bathroom assault but not before being charged with sexual battery and abduction after an investigation into an incident at the other school.

School officials reported the crimes to the authorities, according to reports, backing arguments McClellan made in the interview with 8News that the Loudoun County case did not concern Virginia’s crime-reporting law. McClellan also noted that the sexual assault case involved a felony, which a principal must report to law enforcement.

While sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, the current law requires school administrators to also share any conduct that could be considered a misdemeanor with the parents of the students involved in the incident.