Virginia Viewpoint – April 15, 2022 – Virginia is for Lovers of Vetoes?

April 15, 2022

Budget Updates

While the General Assembly returned to Richmond on April 4th to start the Special Session, budget negotiators announced that they did not have a compromise ready. The Special Session continues, though legislators have returned to their districts, as budget conferees are continuing to work through their differences. House Appropriations Chairman Del. Barry Knight (R- VA Beach) indicated that the two bodies are not that far apart and a compromise will happen. Senate Finance chair Sen. Janet Howell thinks differently now that the Governor has vetoed legislation carried by Democrat legislators.

The difference between the House and Senate budget plans is approximately $3 billion with the politically divided General Assembly mostly split on the issue of tax cuts like doubling the standard deduction and gas tax relief.

With rising gas prices as a hot topic, the 26-cent-per-gallon gas tax has been publically debated. Governor Youngkin proposes a “Gas Tax Holiday” by suspending collection of the tax. A growing bipartisan list of states are providing similar relief – Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut. In response, Democrat House members are offering a plan to give a one-time $50 refund to every car owner (capped at two cars per household) as an alternative. This idea is also being introduced at the Federal level by Congressman Don McEachin.

The big question – will they have a budget by the time legislators return to Richmond for the Reconvene Session (April 27) where they will take up Governor Youngkin’s vetoes and amendments? More on the veto and amendment fights below.

Governor likes exercising…. his Executive Authority

Midnight on Monday, April 11th marked the deadline for the Governor to act on nearly 900 pieces of legislation. Governor Youngkin signed 700 bills, amended more than 100, and vetoed 26. Signed legislation includes parental notification of explicit materials, Sunday hunting on public land, restrictions on breeding of cats & dogs, tax conformity, non-alcoholic spirits, to-go cocktails and alcohol delivery, and health care licensure, to name a few. Legislators will vote on all of the amendments and vetoes during the Reconvened Session on April 27th.

After Senate Democrats blocked the Governor’s first round of parole board nominations, GovernorYoungkin appointed 4 new parole board members, all who have ties to law enforcement.

Governor Youngkin issued Executive Order 17 to encourage recycling in state agencies but has rescinded the previous administrations order to stop the use of single-use plastic or polystyrene containers by 2025.

Keeping a campaign promise, Governor Youngkin will donate his first quarter salary to the Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program supporting law enforcement and first responders.


Senate finance leader says Youngkin vetoes ‘set us back’ in reaching budget agreement

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall – 7 articles a month)

The lead budget negotiator for the Virginia Senate says Gov. Glenn Youngkin has set back agreement on a new state budget by vetoing more than two dozen bills sponsored by Democratic legislators, including a half-dozen that had received unanimous support in both chambers of the General Assembly. Senate Finance Chair Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, said the governor’s veto of 26 bills carried by Democratic legislators, many of them noncontroversial, would make it harder for Senate and House negotiators to reach agreement on a pair of budgets pending in the special session that began on April 4.

With no budget deal, Virginia lawmakers start special session with nothing to vote on

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

While surrounded by beagles at Virginia’s Executive Mansion, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Monday he hoped state lawmakers could approach their ongoing budget work with the same bipartisan zeal behind the animal cruelty bills he was signing. “I was disappointed at the pace the work was going,” Youngkin said, explaining his decision to bring lawmakers back to Richmond Monday for a special session to finish the budget left incomplete when legislators left town March 12. . . . But with no budget deal to vote on, the General Assembly was in session for less than two hours.

Va. House Democrats offer alternative to Youngkin’s gas tax-cut plan

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall – 3 articles a month)

Democrats in the House of Delegates on Friday floated an alternative to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to suspend Virginia’s gasoline tax for three months, instead proposing to send $50 cash to each car owner, up to $100 per household. Republicans who control the House immediately dismissed the new idea, even as they made preparations to get Youngkin’s proposal before a committee so it can advance. The General Assembly is technically still in special session, with work on the state’s two-year budget incomplete. The legislature is slated to meet again April 27 to take up any vetoes from the governor or other unfinished business.

Va. House Democrats propose $50 payments to car owners instead of gas tax holiday

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates are proposing sending money directly to Virginia drivers as an alternative to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to temporarily suspend the state’s gas tax. In a news release Friday, House Democrats said they want to give $50 rebates to every car owner, or up to $100 per household. Republicans have called for suspending the 26.2-cents per gallon gas tax from May through July before phasing it back in August and September.

McEachin: Give Americans direct payments for gasoline

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall – 7 articles a month)

It’s the law of supply and demand, not federal or state taxes, that drive the price of gasoline at the pump. That’s the bottom line for Rep. Don McEachin, D-4th, after grilling the executives of four global oil companies before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Thursday about the value to consumers of a so-called “holiday” from imposing the 18.3-cent-per-gallon federal tax on gasoline. McEachin called instead to help consumers with the rising price of gasoline by giving them additional money to pay for it, repealing federal tax breaks for oil companies to cover the cost.

After fight with Democrats, Youngkin announces new Parole Board picks

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

After Democrats blocked his first batch of nominees last month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin is making four new appointments to the Virginia Parole Board. Several of the nominees announced Wednesday have ties to law enforcement, an apparent nod to the 2020 controversy over the previous Parole Board’s decision to release a man convicted in 1979 for the murder of a Richmond police officer. A state watchdog agency later found the board had not followed notification protocols to victims’ families and prosecutors in that case and several others. At the time, Parole Board officials dismissed those findings as inaccurate.

Youngkin amends bill lifting facial recognition technology ban in Virginia


Governor Glenn Youngkin is amending a controversial bill that could lift a partial ban on facial recognition technology in Virginia. Supporters say it’s an important tool for police to pursue justice. Opponents call it “invasive” and “authoritarian.” With hours remaining before an action deadline on Monday, Youngkin released three proposed amendments “strengthening” the bill.

Youngkin wants penalties for people with more than 2 ounces of marijuana

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall – 7 articles a month)

Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday proposed that the General Assembly establish new misdemeanor penalties for people in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana, a move that was recommended last year by a state oversight agency. Youngkin’s proposal comes in the form of an amendment to a bill, which will go back to the General Assembly for consideration on April 27 when lawmakers consider vetoes and amendments that the governor made before a midnight Monday deadline. The first-year governor also announced signing more than 700 bills Monday.

‘Recycling, not banning’: Youngkin wants state agencies to be proactive in product reuse

By BILL ATKINSON, Progress Index (Metered paywall – 10 articles a month)

Against the backdrop of a family-owned recycling plant here, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order Thursday that creates a new state initiative to increase recycling among government agencies, put more recycle containers in state parks and develop public-private strategies for reducing food waste. The order reverses one issued by Youngkin’s Democratic predecessor banning single-use plastic products from state agencies.

Youngkin signs ‘beagle bills’ against animal cruelty

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall – 7 articles a month)

Surrounded by almost a dozen beagles, Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday signed legislation to protect dogs and cats at breeding facilities – a legislative effort that stemmed from a series of animal welfare violations at a Cumberland beagle mill. The five “beagle bills” Youngkin signed will restrict some breeders with tainted records from engaging in future sales, and increase state oversight over facilities that breed animals for research purposes.

New Va. law requires schools alert parents of ‘sexually explicit material’

By HANNAH NATANSON, Washington Post (Metered Paywall – 3 articles a month)

Under a new law, Virginia school districts must notify parents whenever instructional materials include sexually explicit content and must provide parents alternative, non-explicit materials if requested. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed the measure into law last week. It requires that the Virginia Department of Education publish model guidelines for the handling of sexually explicit material — including outlining processes by which parents are notified of the material and can opt their children out of receiving it — by July 31.

Reversing centuries-old ban, Virginians can hunt public lands Sundays starting July 1

Culpeper Star Exponent (Metered Paywall – 20 articles a month)

Come July 1, it will be legal to hunt Sundays on public land, per a bill signed this week by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, ending a ban in place since colonial times. Fairfax Democrat State Sen. Chap Petersen introduced the legislation to allow Sunday hunting on public land more than 200 yards from places of worship, according to a release from the governor’s office. Previously, Wildlife Management Areas and National Forests were only open to hunters every other day of the week, but not on Sundays.

GOP candidates vying for new state Senate seat

By CHARLES PAULLIN, Northern Virginia Daily

The election for a new state Senate seat in the Northern Shenandoah Valley isn’t until November 2023, but Republican candidates are already announcing their plans to seek office. Strasburg Town Councilman John Massoud, Warren County resident Robert Hupman and new Frederick County resident Lance Allen have announced they’re interested in the new Senate District 1 seat.


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