On Monday, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that he had signed 700 bills into law and amended 100-plus other bills. However, the 26 bills Gov. Youngkin vetoed are drawing some pushback from critics, according to the Associated Press.
The Virginia Public Access Project notes that Youngkin’s veto total is the highest of any governor in their first term since Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore had 37 in 1998. Most of the bills passed with bipartisan support, but none were sponsored by Republicans.
State Sen. Creigh Deeds spoke to The Virginian-Pilot and believes the actions are retaliation for Democrats rejecting Youngkin’s picks for state parole board and secretary of natural and historic resources.
“It’s tit for tat, and he wants to continue that war with us,” Deeds said. “He doesn’t want to talk and have conversations and figure out how to govern or move forward.”
“It just doesn’t make sense, if you look at the bills themselves ... they are bills that went through without negative votes,” Deeds said. “They were totally innocuous.”
Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell was equally vocal in pointing out the bipartisan nature of most of the bills passed through.
“It’s not clear to me why the governor thinks that he’s got the monopoly of what’s right for Virginia when these bills have already been vetted by bipartisan majorities,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell, who sponsored two bills Youngkin vetoed.
The General Assembly can override the vetoes when it reconvenes later this month. Doing so would take a 2/3 vote in both chambers.
Some of the vetoed bills include the following:
- A bill that would have prohibited high school student-athletes from receiving compensation in exchange for the use of their name, image, or likeness.
- A measure that would set a three-year statute of limitations on the collection of medical debt. In his veto statement, Youngkin said he was committed to reducing the burden of medical debt but thought the legislation would “inadvertently” capture other forms of debt.
- A housing bill from Newport News Democrat Cia Price that would have given localities the authority to sue negligent landlords over matters that endanger tenants’ health. Youngkin wrote that the bill included “unnecessary and duplicative provisions” already established under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
A couple of the amendments Youngkin proposed are:
- Requiring Loudoun County School Board members to go up for election this fall. If approved, the school board elections would be moved up a year
- Allowing local and campus police departments to be able to use facial recognition technology in certain circumstances.