The Veto Battle in Virginia

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The Veto Battle in Virginia



How many bills will Governor Terry McAuliffe veto this year?

Governor McAuliffe, a Democrat, is at odds with the Republicans who control the General Assembly. This disagreement flares up in many ways, from the state budget to public statements. However, the most consequential example of the partisan split is seen in the fate of legislation. Last year, the governor vetoed thirty-five bills. He has already started vetoing bills this year. Here are some of the bills that have met the governor’s disapproval:


HB 1582 – To allow an active duty military member or a military member who has received an honorable discharge to obtain a concealed handgun permit at the age of 18. Current law allows concealed handgun permits for anyone 21 years of age or older.


HB 1578 – To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools.


HB 1432 – To allow someone to carry a concealed switchblade knife if the person is engaged in a lawful activity that is enhanced by the use of a switchblade.


HB 2264 -- To prohibit state funding for organizations that provide abortions (this is mainly aimed at Planned Parenthood). The bill would also deny funding abortions that are not allowed under the Medicaid program, which denies payments for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a mother’s life being endangered.


HB 2198 -- To reinstate a tax credit program for coal production and employment, with a limit of $7.3 million a year. The program would last until 2022. This bill is similar to one that the General Assembly passed last year. That bill, which would have prevented this subsidy program from expiring in 2016, was vetoed by Governor McAuliffe.


Unless some Democrats decide to vote against McAuliffe, Republicans do not have enough votes to override the governor’s vetoes.


What do you think of Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes? Do you agree with him that these bills should not become law? Or do you think that he is standing in the way of good public policy?


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