Richmond, VA –As Virginia legislators come back this week to vote on the Governor’s vetoes and amendments to bills, it is important to remember that Governor Youngkin vetoed a total of 26 bipartisan bills, a historically large number, and added controversial amendments to others.
Some of the Governor’s vetoes include bills that passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, meaning all 100 delegates and all 40 senators voted to pass them. Nine of the Governor’s vetoes were of bipartisan bills sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, a blatantly political and personal move as retribution when the Governor didn’t get his way. And another bill vetoed by the Governor broke yet another promise to Virginians and attempts to roll back the cannabis legalization law, reinstating criminal penalties into the law.
Among Gov. Youngkin’s most egregious vetoes and amendments are:
On the environment…
S.B. 347 Veto of a bill to improve access to energy efficiency savings for Virginians who are low-income, elderly, living with a disability, as well as Veterans, without any cost to taxpayers.
On health care…
H.B. 573 Veto of a bill to grant life-altering medical debt amnesty for thousands of Virginians by putting a statute of limitations on medical debt, so that after three years, families can't be sued for debt they often had no choice in procuring.
On criminal justice…
S.B. 591 Amendments roll back justice progress for minor cannabis crimes, strengthen the black market for dangerous synthetic marijuana products, and specifically penalizes home growers.**Republican-sponsored bill**
S.B. 297 Veto of a bill providing important hospital billing protections for crime victims claiming awards from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund — marking a setback in Virginia’s progress toward ending predatory debt collection.
H.B. 1138 Amendment forces a special election to take place only for the Loudoun County School Board. The election would be an expensive waste of resources, occurring just a year before elections are already scheduled to take place. The Governor’s authoritarian amendment is a blatantly political attempt to sow division.
H.B. 717 Amendment prevents unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness from accessing housing by using a procedural measure to delay its implementation.
H.B. 891 Amendment further stigmatizes and attacks immigrant communities by delaying the removal of the term “alien” from the Code of Virginia.
H.B. 802 Veto of a bill to empower localities to take greater steps against negligent landlords, allowing them to help tenants and ensure community members are living in safe and healthy environments.
S.B. 393 Veto of a bill to enhance consumer data privacy protections.
S.B. 655 Veto of a bill that would make meaningful reforms to the Virginia Employment Commission (Gov. Youngkin amended the House version).
“The Governor is actively sabotaging the bipartisan work of legislators,” said DPVA spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “Instead of signing meaningful and productive legislation to move Virginia forward, he is advancing his own personal politics and agenda, not Virginians’. Democrats in the General Assembly will not allow the Governor to roll back our progress and will kill any of Governor Youngkin’s attempts to do so.”