RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin released a second round of picks for the Virginia Parole Board this week and, at least so far, Senate Democrats say they have no plans of standing in the way of their confirmation.
Youngkin announced the new slate of appointments after a 21-19 party-line vote in the state Senate blocked the confirmation of his previous four selections, leaving just Chadwick Dotson, the new chairman of the board, serving in the meantime.
The action from Senate Democrats came after House Republicans removed 11 of former Gov. Ralph Northam’s outstanding appointments to various executive agencies and state boards.
Despite the setback, Youngkin said he’s charging ahead with his campaign promise to reform the Parole Board. A previous review by the Office of the State Inspector General found the now-fired board violated state law and their own policies by failing to properly notify prosecutors and victims’ families about decisions.
When asked on Thursday if he had assurances from Senate Democrats that his second round of picks would be approved, Youngkin told 8News, “They’re going to stand in the way of reforming this? I don’t think they will. I hope they don’t because Virginians don’t expect anything less from us, which is to do what we said we were going to do.”
“We have another slate of incredibly qualified Parole Board members. We’ve appointed them and we’re going to work,” Youngkin continued.
In a phone interview on Thursday, Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Chairman Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) said he has no reason to believe that Democrats would block the confirmation process again. However, he gave no assurance that the new appointees will be approved.
Youngkin said that the legislature could confirm them during an ongoing special session.
“I don’t expect an expedited process at this point,” Ebbin said.
Ebbin expects the new board members to serve in an interim capacity until the General Assembly is scheduled to consider appointments during the 2023 regular session.
Jacqueline Woodbridge, a spokesperson for the Senate Democratic Caucus, said in a text that she’s unaware of any discussions that have taken place on Youngkin’s new Parole Board appointments.