RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has ordered a statewide review of all penalties imposed by Virginia stemming from violations of COVID-19 rules.

Youngkin signed an executive order Tuesday directing all state agencies to report the financial and other penalties imposed on people, businesses and nonprofits to Virginia’s secretary of finance by Jan. 15, 2023.

According to the order, this includes penalties such as a withdrawal, suspension or cancellation of licenses or certificates. The order adds that the reports will also detail whether any state contracts were not granted due to noncompliance of COVID-19 guidelines.

The Republican governor also announced his plans to direct state agencies to stop any further collection and enforcement of COVID-19 rules in his upcoming proposed budget on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The budget will also call on Secretary of Finance Steve E. Cummings to work with the agencies to establish “a reimbursement process for individuals and businesses who paid unjust COVID-19 fines and fees,” his office said Tuesday.

The budget language won’t apply to hospitals, nursing homes and other similar facilities that could have violated guidelines “intended to protect the health and safety of individuals, patients, residents, and staff of hospitals, nursing homes, certified nursing facilities, hospices, or assisted living facilities.”

Youngkin criticized Gov. Northam’s administration in a statement Tuesday announcing the executive order. On the campaign trail last year, Youngkin spoke out against measures imposed under Democratic rule during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Youngkin reiterated his displeasure with the rules Virginia adopted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which like other states across the country, led businesses to shut their doors and other steps.

“In the previous administration, we saw our government shut down businesses, close our schools, and separate us from each other,” Youngkin said in his statement. “While we can’t undo the damage done during the Northam administration, we are taking action going forward to end COVID-era draconian overreach.”

Cummings or his designee will review the reports and make recommendations to Youngkin on any “corrective action can be taken under the law,” the executive order states. Under Youngkin’s directive, state agency includes the following:

  • Secretariat Offices
  • Executive Branch Agencies
  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Authorities, Boards, and Commissions established within the Executive Branch by the Code of Virginia or designated under a Secretariat in the Code of Virginia

This story is developing. Check back for updates.