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Governor Youngkin laid out his plan. What will pass and what has no chance?

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 23:15:30-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) laid out his plan for Virginia during his State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday afternoon in Richmond. But how much of his plan should Virginians expect to become reality?

CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth joined Bill Fitzgerald at the Virginia State Capitol to answer those questions.

Below is a transcript of their conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

Bill Fitzgerald
With a split in the General Assembly where Republicans control the House of Delegates and Democrats control the Senate, how much can Governor Youngkin actually achieve? Here to navigate the political crosscurrents is our esteemed political analyst, Dr. Bob Holdsworth.

What stood out to you from [Gov. Youngkin's] address in terms of achievable goals?

Dr. Bob
Well, that's really interesting.

I think the most achievable thing he mentioned is to try to further address the deplorable mental health conditions that we've had in Virginia, with the lack of access to beds for people who really need them.

I think there can really be a bipartisan consensus on that.

We've been addressing it over the last few years. But a real answer is long overdue.

At the same time, there are a lot of things, they're not going anywhere.

By and large, the Democrats have said they're going to be a brick wall against his proposal for a 15-week abortion ban.

Bill Fitzgerald
That was such a brief mention. He didn't seem to spend much time on it.

Dr. Bob
I didn't think he wanted to highlight it largely because he knows there's not going anywhere.

At the same time, he did bring forward these corporate tax cuts and individual tax cuts that he wants to make Virginia, he says a more competitive state.

At the Democratic press conference today, they said they didn't think we should be spending a billion dollars on tax cuts, particularly for corporations or those people at the top of the income scale.

They said they prefer to do things like reduce the cost of tuition at Virginia's colleges and universities.

So my guess is that on a lot of those issues, they're going to be at loggerheads with the exception of tax cuts, that might increase the standard deduction, especially for people at the lower end of the income scale.

Bill Fitzgerald
He also spent some time talking about energy and trying to reduce the electrical rates. He said he would like to see more carbon capture, as I mentioned a moment ago, and modular nuclear reactors. Is that just a way around what the Democrats have been looking for in that regard in terms of phasing out fossil fuels?

Dr. Bob
Yeah, I think in some ways, clearly, he'd like to bring these modular nuclear reactors to southwest Virginia. He has a lot of support from the Republican delegation in southwest Virginia.

The Democrats are going to focus on his effort to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which they think is very important for the long term issue of climate change.

It's going to be tough to find a lot of common ground on these issues, such as taxes, probably energy, and certainly the culture war issues such as abortion.

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