The Virginia House of Delegates passed a constitutional amendment providing for a referendum this November on placing right to work language in the Constitution of Virginia. The bill passed on a 63-34 party-line vote.
HB 4, patroned by Delegate Dickie Bell (20th – Staunton), will place the Right to Work question on the ballot for consideration by voters in November.
“Passage of this constitutional amendment highlights the misplaced priorities that House Republicans have adopted and promoted,” said Delegate Jeion Ward (92nd – Hampton). “Building the New Virginia Economy requires a healthy, viable workforce that is paid a livable wage, guaranteed equal pay for equal work, and has access to affordable health care – not needlessly elevating existing law to the state Constitution that hurts Virginia’s workers.”
“Republicans in the Virginia House are playing at pandering partisan politics with an issue that has shown to be time and again a detriment to people who put in a hard day’s work,” said Charniele Herring, Democratic Caucus Chair. “While I have the utmost respect for the Virginia Way, to enshrine a policy like Right to Work in the Constitution, rather in the code of Virginia where it can be debated and modified, is reckless and at high cost to the taxpayers both morally and financially.”
“In 2016, my friends in the Majority are offering up even more of the Virginia Code for constitutional status without evidence of any threat whatsoever to ‘the Virginia Way,’” said Delegate Mark Sickles, Deputy Minority Leader. “Instead of making unneeded changes to the sacred Constitution of Virginia, we should be laser-focused on building the New Virginia Economy by improving and investing in education, research, and developing a better workforce.”