The opening day of the General Assembly session has been an eventful one for Del. Joseph Yost, R-Blacksburg.
Yost today was appointed to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Task Force on School and Campus Safety, a panel McDonnell commissioned after the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Yost is one of six legislators on the task force, which also includes representatives from state agencies, law enforcement, health care providers, public and private education systems and the private sector.
“One of the key principles of government is public safety, and the recent events in Connecticut and the similarities that we experienced at Virginia Tech in 2007, show the desperate need to insure our student and facility’s safety,” Yost said in a news release. “Mental health-related issues are an integral part of this conversation and I am honored help lead this effort.”
Other members of the task force include Botetourt County Commonwealth’s Attorney Joel Branscom; Gene Deisinger, Virginia Tech’s deputy police chief and director of threat management; and Allen Hill, whose daughter Rachael died in the 2007 shootings at Tech. The group will hold its first meeting on Monday in Richmond.
Yost today also was appointed to the House Privileges and Elections Committee, which handles legislation dealing with election law, redistricting and gubernatorial appointments. Yost was one of only two House Republicans who voted against final passage of controversial voter identification last year. But House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford County, appointed Yost to the committee that initially handled that legislation.
– Michael Sluss