Youngkin seems to just now discover that he has power to curtail COVID penalties
Glenn Youngkin has been governor since January. But just today, he ordered a review of COVID-19 penalties he referred to as “imposed by the Northam administration” and said the fact that businesses are still dealing with COVID-related penalties is “infuriating.”
If this is the pressing issue his rhetoric suggests, what took so long?
“In the previous administration, we saw our government shut down businesses, close our schools, and separate us from each other. While we can’t undo the damage done during the Northam administration, we are taking action going forward to end COVID-era draconian overreach,” Youngkin said.
Youngkin was sworn in as governor on Jan. 15, nearly 11 months ago. Which means he’s had 11 months to do what he did today, namely, issue an Executive Order directing enforcement agencies, boards, and commissions to report all fines, fees, suspensions related to the COVID-19 shutdown violations.
The governor also said he will direct agencies to halt further collection and enforcement action in his upcoming budget to be delivered on Dec. 15.
Youngkin said his proposed budget will direct the Secretary of Finance to work with agencies to develop a reimbursement process for individuals and businesses who paid “unjust” COVID-19 fines and fees.
“I look forward to working with the General Assembly to address this, forgive COVID fines and fees and restore licenses that were unjustly suspended,” Youngkin said.