STATEWIDE — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ceremonially signed off on a bipartisan youth engagement bill on Monday, June 28th.
The new law, which went into effect on July 1, requires school divisions throughout the Commonwealth to allow middle and high school students at least one excused absence per year to participate in a civic event, facilitating youth engagement.
“This new law will help foster civic engagement for young Virginians in all communities,” the senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jennifer McClellan said. “My interest in government was sparked in 6th grade, and I’m proud to have worked with Democratic and Republican student leaders and with Del. Rasoul to make this bill a reality and encourage a new generation of civic leaders.”
“What we saw from the Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus and Teenage Republican Federation of Virginia serves as a reminder that we can work together to make change happen,” Rasoul, said. “This civic engagement bill will allow the newest generation to actively participate in the lawmaking process, and teach students and parents that some of the best lessons happen outside of the classroom. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”