We’re celebrating another victory!
On Tuesday, March 28, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed into law Senate Bill 1367, Reasonable Independence for Kids. This law will take effect on July 1, protecting innocent parents and their ability to make age-appropriate decisions for their children from Virginia child protective services. It is not “neglect” to let mature children take on safe, reasonable independence in matters such as waiting at a school bus stop or walking to a nearby park, and now Virginia law reflects that common sense.
In some states, parents can even get in trouble for letting their school-age children play in their own front yard unless there is an adult visibly present. But that will no longer be the case in Virginia.
This victory is not ours alone. Though we are proud to have taken a major role in the bill’s passage, we are also grateful to Let Grow, who drafted this bill and champions similar legislation in states around the country, and to Virginia Poverty Law Center, who also actively championed this effort in the Old Dominion.
We were proud to connect these groups to retiring Virginia Senator Jill Vogel, who proved to be just the right person to lead the charge in the Virginia legislature. With her years of leadership in the Virginia Senate, Vogel showed the perfect combination of influence and wisdom to lead the bill across the finish line.
Parental Rights Foundation president Will Estrada provided letters in support of the bill and expert testimony before the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee back in January, as well as expert testimony when the bill went to the House of Delegates.
Most recently, we were able to reach out to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and urge him to sign the bill into law.
This team victory in Virginia is yet another example of the fact that parental rights is a bipartisan issue. We showed that bipartisanship clearly in Virginia, as this bill brought together organizations from across the political spectrum, passed the Virginia legislature unanimously, and was signed into law.
We are grateful to Senator Vogel for championing this bill, to Governor Youngkin for signing it, and to our friends at Let Grow and Virginia Poverty Law Center for their hard work in bringing attention to the need for this legislation. This provides vital clarity in Virginia’s understanding of what “neglect” means and, more importantly, our understanding of what it is not.
Thank you for standing with us to protect children by empowering parents through strong bipartisan partnerships and solid legislative efforts in Virginia and every other state.