RICHMOND, Va.—Today during Reconvene Session, the Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against a number of Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoes to legislation from the 2021 Regular Session. These vetoes, supported by House Republicans, will have detrimental impacts on the people of Virginia and on its institutions. Through their actions, Republicans have shown once again that they are not on the side of Virginia’s working families.
The legislation that was vetoed would not only have helped many of our most vulnerable citizens but also ensured our democracy. House Dems worked to create fixes to problems that many people in communities across the Commonwealth are facing – issues like unsafe housing, food insecurity, medical debt, and discrimination. All of that work was undermined or undone completely through the Governor’s actions. Instead of taking the side of Virginians in need, he has chosen to take the side of slum lords, insurance companies, and collection agencies.
“Time and again Governor Youngkin has shown us whose side he is on, and today we saw that House Republicans won’t stand up to him,” Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring said. “It is disappointing to see these bills, passed in a bipartisan manner that could do so much good for Virginians, become part of some political gamesmanship .”
Additionally, some of the Democratic delegates who had a bill get vetoed by Governor Youngkin issued the following statements in response:
Delegate Patrick Hope (Arlington): Governor Youngkin’s reasoning for vetoing HB675 is it would force tobacco companies to raise premiums. In fact, HB675 does just the opposite causing premiums to be lowered by up to 4.5% and reducing the number of uninsured by up to 14,000. At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, Governor Youngkin and Republicans have to answer to Virginians why they voted against lowering health care premiums.”
Delegate Marcia Price (Newport News): “HB802 initially passed with bipartisan support and would have helped thousands of families who are simply asking their landlords to live up to their end of the bargain and provide a safe and healthy living environment. This veto was factually inaccurate and harmful, but House Republicans made sure to put party above people and made sure to switch their votes to align with the Governor’s petty veto. Shamefully, he and House Republicans showed their true colors today when they chose to stick up for slumlords instead of Virginia’s working families.
Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (Prince William County): “In his reasoning for vetoing my bill, HB1004, the governor seems to be confused regarding where the federal government stands on this issue when this bill was specifically an effort to bring Virginia into line with federal policy. This would have provided more opportunity for resources to those who are seeking to better themselves through education, and I wish the Governor had spoken with me if he was confused rather than just vetoing a bill that could have helped so many students in the Commonwealth.”
Delegate Nadarius Clark (Portsmouth): “After so much advocacy by experts, lobbying from progressive organizations, and the hard work of myself and many of my friends on both sides of the aisle, I am extremely disheartened to see that the unwarranted and uninformed decision made by the Governor is stronger than the convictions of my Republican colleagues who expressed their desire to see real reform to the collection of medical debt in their vote in support of my bill. HB573 is no different than it was 50 days ago when a majority of Republicans supported it. One in four Virginians is currently in medical debt. Medical debt is a leading cause of poverty, bankruptcy, and homelessness.
The people of Virginia did not send us to Richmond to spin our wheels and go nowhere. They sent us to get things done. I’m disappointed in my colleagues, but I am more fired up than ever to keep fighting for progress. While the Republicans seem to have lost sight of that, I have not.”
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