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Del. Ken Plum: Governor’s Vetoes Have Saved Virginia Much Embarrassment

by Del. Ken Plum — March 30, 2017 at 10:15 am 20 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

While a governor is the chief executive of a state responsible for seeing that the laws are carried out, the governor plays a crucial role in the legislative process with the requirement that all passed bills must be signed before they become law or not signed and vetoed to keep such bills from becoming law. There is no better example of the significance of the governor’s power to veto laws than in Virginia.

Next week, on Wednesday, April 5, which is the required sixth Wednesday after the adjournment of the regular session of the General Assembly, the Constitution requires a reconvened or commonly called “veto session” to consider only vetoes or amendments made by the governor to bills that had been passed in both houses of the General Assembly earlier in the regular session. The requirement for the reconvened session was added to the Constitution in 1981 because without it, the governor was able to veto bills after legislators went home without any opportunity for them to override the veto.

With the fast pace of nearly a thousand bills being passed in a session of 45 to 60 days, the reconvened session provides an opportunity for the governor to send down amendments that are found to be needed that might clarify or correct language in bills.

Most importantly, a governor can play a role in the legislative process by vetoing some really bad bills that may have narrowly passed the legislature but are not in the best interest of the state. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has used his veto pen very effectively in vetoing bills that respond to special interests but do not serve the public good of the Commonwealth. By the end of the reconvened session next week he will have set a record of vetoing more than 90 bills without legislators being able to get a two-thirds vote in both houses for the bills to become law without his signature. I am especially pleased that he has never vetoed a bill that I had not already voted against in the regular session.

As in previous years, he has vetoed bills that would legalize discrimination against LGBT citizens. He has regularly vetoed bills similar to HB2 in North Carolina, which has brought such bad publicity to that state for upholding discrimination and that resulted in the state losing businesses and major sports events. Without Gov. McAuliffe’s courageous veto, Virginia would be in the same category of discrimination as North Carolina.

Gov. McAuliffe has once again vetoed a bill that would deny public funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides critically important health services to women over an ideological dispute as to who should make reproductive health decisions for women. He is again vetoing a series of bills that would make guns and switch-blades more accessible to persons in emergency shelters including children. He vetoed a bill that would have expanded eligibility for concealed handgun permits.

What a difference Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made with his veto pen in keeping some really bad bills from becoming law.

  • 30yearsinreston

    We know what the Governor has done
    What have you done ?
    No bloviating or disemmbling please

  • The Constitutionalist

    No Governor in the history of our commonwealth has vetoed more bills than our Clown Governor.

    Should be a red flag when our electorate is vetoing so many bills that pass through the general assembly. How detached can our ‘leadership’ really be from the will of Virginians?

    Maybe you’d like to chime in, Parasite Ken, and tell us all what we think and what’s in our best interest.

    • Jenny Gibbers

      No wonder our country is so polarized and nothing gets done, too much violence!

      The mere fact that legislation gets vetoed tells me, too many laws on the books. Insanity!

      • Umust B Kidding

        Well, actually vetoed bills never made it to the books as laws.

    • Fairfax Watcher

      Concur with your “Red Flag”!
      However…..”…the will of Virginians” is NOT what I see going on in Richmond, rather the elected gang is sucking up to whatever/whomever pays the most cash into their bank accounts.
      SORRY state of affairs – this Virginia!

    • Greg

      But, medicaid expansion!!!

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

    Embarrass Virginia legislators? Are u kidding me?
    These ppl are all way beyond being embarrassed theses day LOL

  • Mike M

    So, this is the level of Democratic argument today. “People who have views other than ours are so not cool, they are an embarrassment.” Thanks, Ken.

    • Jenny Gibbers

      I thought you dwelled in the post-political realm. Wrong again, when do I ever get it right?

      • The Constitutionalist

        Almost never.

        • Jenny Gibbers

          That means I am qualified for Richmond. Thanks for your vote of confidences!!!!

          • The Constitutionalist

            I’d probably vote for you.

      • Mike M

        The parties are not the same in their weaknesses. The Dems are insidious with their domination of the communication and imagery realm. But they are devolving into very childish approaches. The GOP is a communications disaster. Oh, and they can’t get anything done – especially if it’s hard.

        • The Constitutionalist

          Sad, but true.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Too bad he didnt veto the gerrymander that keeps both parties on the gravy train

    • Will M

      Amen to that!

  • hmmmm

    Ken, please tell us what great things you have to done to improve your district. I think you are as worthless as McAwful.

    • Greg

      Very little indeed. So little, I’d be embarrassed were I Ken Plum.

  • drb

    While the veto killed the bill that did not fund Planned Parenthood what else was in the bill that will not get funded? Is that important that we defund important health care issues if we don’t fund the “Kill the Children Fund” and sell their body parts for fun and profit?

  • Jenny Gibbers

    All I can say is, Hillary!!!!!!

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