LYNCHBURG, Va, – Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin visited Lynchburg Friday and spoke one-on-one with 10 News about several topics impacting Southwest and Central Virginia.
Youngkin announced this week that he’s calling back Virginia’s House and Senate to meet in Richmond on April 4 and deliver a budget.
He says he believes they’ll agree on a two-year plan. 10 News asked if Youngkin had a deadline in mind.
“I don’t expect it to take long because I do think the issues are pretty straightforward, but they’re going to stay until they get done,” said Youngkin.
The two sides ended their regular session March 12 without a deal.
One key issue was disagreeing over Youngkin’s agenda to cut taxes.
“We can invest in education and law enforcement and mental health system, and we can deliver so much for Virginians,” said Youngkin.
His plan includes ending the 2.5% tax on groceries, exempting $40,000 of military pensions, and suspending an increase in the gas tax.
“We’ve got plenty of money in the system, and we can reduce taxes and still fund all the things we want to do to. It’s a chance to give Virginians the break they deserve.”
Meanwhile, after recent deadly shootings in Covington, Amherst County, and Roanoke, Youngkin says the Commonwealth is facing a crisis in crime.
“So much of [violent crime] is tied to the mental health crisis we’re in right now. Coming out of this pandemic, we are seeing more stress on our mental health and behavioral health system than ever before,” said Youngkin.
He believes there needs to be cooperation at the local, state, and federal levels.
“We’re bringing together our secretaries, which we started last week, in order to convene people across the Commonwealth to go to work here.”
On another topic, Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy recently expressed frustration over losing to the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas -- the first known, transgender athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I national championship in any sport.
“I do believe that this is unfair, and I think the NCAA should, in fact, revisit their rules on this,” said Youngkin.
Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle in the women’s division.
He argues Title IX is already in place to help make women’s and men’s sports equal.
“I don’t believe that biological men should be competing against biological women in these sports.”
Other states introduced legislation restricting transgender athletes from playing on female sports teams.
Arizona passed a bill Thursday. Utah Republicans voted to override their GOP governor’s veto Friday. Florida’s governor recently tweeted the swimmer’s victory makes a mockery of NCAA championships, “perpetuating a fraud.”
“We’re called to love everyone, and we should love everyone. We shouldn’t also do something that’s unfair,” said Youngkin.
Following his interview with 10 News, Governor Youngkin spoke at Liberty University’s convocation, where he discussed on several topics including his Christian faith and how it plays a role in his life.
He later took a trip to the famous Texas Inn in Downtown Lynchburg, where he enjoyed a cheesy western.