His thoughts on the veto session

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Virginia General Assembly met Wednesday for the “reconvened” or “veto” session to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s amendments and vetoes.

McAuliffe signed over 700 bills this year, but he vetoed 39 bills and amended 67 more. He made 27 amendments to the conservative and responsible budget passed by the General Assembly.

Much like last year, we were disappointed by the nature of the governor’s vetoes. McAuliffe is more interested in highlighting division and opposition rather than working to pass commonsense bills. The governor vetoed legislation to empower parents to make their own educational decisions, protect small businesses from national union bosses and protect the integrity of our voter registration database.

In fact, McAuliffe vetoed eight bills that passed the House with veto-proof majorities, thanks to the support of Democrats. But in Richmond today, many Democrats put partisan politics above good policy and voted to sustain the governor’s vetoes.

McAuliffe also made several major amendments to the General Assembly’s two-year budget. The House rejected the governor’s effort to expand Medicaid because it was the fiscally responsible thing to do. There is much uncertainty in Washington regarding the future of health care policy. It would be irresponsible for Virginia to expand a government-run program on a promise from Washington that may or may not be there in the future.

With the reconvened session complete, the General Assembly has completed its work for this year. We will return to Richmond in January to begin another legislative session.

Despite the governor’s vetoes, I am proud of what the House was able to accomplish on behalf of Virginians this year.

We closed a billion-dollar budget deficit with a conservative and responsibly balanced state budget. We also passed legislation to strengthen our economy, improve our education system and fought to advance conservative values.

I will return to my district legislative office for the remainder of the year. I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do my job of representing you better. 

Matt Fariss represents Buckingham County in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.