RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Parents would be allowed to opt their children out of school mask mandates on March 1 if Virginia lawmakers approve an amendment Gov. Glenn Youngkin added to a bill the General Assembly has already passed.
The legislation requires local districts to have in-person instruction and would effectively end mask mandates in the state’s K-12 schools.
The Virginia House of Delegates voted along party lines to pass the measure Monday, nearly a week after three Democrats joined Republicans to advance the bill out of the Virginia Senate.
Gov. Youngkin backed up his promise to recommend an emergency clause to the measure so it could take effect immediately, adding a provision that would force local school boards to comply with the proposed law by March 1.
The amendment needs to get a simple majority in the General Assembly to be added to the bill. The measure would go into effect July 1 without Youngkin’s amendment. While lawmakers have indicated the emergency clause will get approved, the timeline for a vote is unclear.
Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), told 8News that there is a “0.1%” chance the House votes on the amendment Tuesday. He said the measure will likely get taken up by the chamber on Wednesday or Thursday.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.