RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed bills geared towards expanding health care coverage for small businesses.

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“This bill is a meaningful step forward to removing the barriers for our small businesses across the Commonwealth, by allowing them to come together and provide health care for their employees,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “On day one, I made a commitment to our small business community that when this bill reached my desk, I would sign it. Today, I am honored to stand with small businesses and legislators from both sides of the aisle to deliver on that promise. Virginians sent me here to go to work for them, and that is exactly what we are doing. These bills are an example of what we can accomplish when we come together for the communities we serve.”

Youngkin signed SB 195, sponsored by Senator Montgomery “Monty” Mason a Democrat from Williamsburg, and HB 884, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Byron, a Republican from Bedford.

“Supporting small businesses and increasing access to affordable health care are some of the most important things we can be doing to grow our economy,” said Senator Mason.

He said the bill will help small businesses to “attract and retain talented workforce, while providing workers and their families greater options for health care.”

Delegate Byron agreed and said, “these bills will make affordable health care coverage available to more Virginians and help to control the costs of businesses offering that benefit.”

She said similar measures have been approved by the General Assembly over the last decade.

In his remarks, Senator Mason also thanked the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“Since 2018, the Virginia Chamber, in partnership with Virginia’s Farm Bureau, Virginia’s Realtor community, and more than 100 local and regional chambers across the Commonwealth have advocated relentlessly for this common-sense health care solution,” said Virginia Chamber President and CEO Barry DuVal. “I am thankful for Governor Glenn Youngkin and leaders in the General Assembly, including Delegate Kathy Byron, Senator Monty Mason, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Delegate Chris Head, Delegate Tony Wilt, and Deputy Majority Leader Israel O’Quinn, for taking action to expand access and lower the cost of health coverage for small employers. We look forward to working with our small business community to ensure employees have greater access to health care through this valuable health coverage option.”