Anyone who has ever had to care for young children knows a tantrum when they see one. It’s to be expected with kids. They’re still learning how to manage their emotions, how to cope when they don’t get their way. The hope is that eventually they learn the skills they need to grow out of it.
But sometimes they don’t. And sometimes they get elected as the 74th Governor of Virginia.
As we all saw with his vanity veto power hour (say that 3x fast lol), Governor Youngkin does NOT understand the assignment. Just in case he forgot, for a bill to land on the governor’s desk both chambers need to pass it. Right now Virginia has a majority Democrat Senate and a majority Republican House. That means that the chamber where his party has the lead voted in favor of every single Democrat-sponsored bill that went to his desk.
At the beginning of session, I was grinding my teeth over all the bad bills Republicans wanted to pass. Now, it’s because the businessman in the governor’s mansion is feeling petty about good policy. Here’s a breakdown of some of his brazen and bitter actions (aka his vetoes and amendments):
- First off, he only vetoed bills from Democrats. Insert eye roll.
- Imagine being the victim of a crime that leads to you having medical debt. While dealing with the impact of that crime, do you think it would be fair for you to be harassed about that medical debt? Of course, not! That’s why Senator Deeds proposed a bill to address that exact situation. This was a bill to help victims from essentially being punished for being a victim. But this veto isn’t the first time Governor Youngkin showed little regard to victims.
- Y’all know Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price aka Virginia’s voting rights champion extraordinaire. Well she’s also at the front of tenant protection legislation and protecting high school student athletes from bad contracts. With his vetoes he allowed slumlords to keep up the status quo and showed once again that he does not care about students in the Commonwealth. And let’s be real–the governor might be a little too comfortable with bad contracts.
- Is Governor Youngkin in cahoots with our (least) favorite utility monopoly? Because he is power hungry! How else can we explain his amendment to force a school board election in Loudon County–with no explanation? Could it be because he lost in Loudon county by 10 points? So we’re clear: with this amendment, he’s saying that the votes of the people who elected those school board members don’t matter.
- What else doesn’t matter to the governor, seemingly so much and a lot of it being the people of the Commonwealth. But for now, let’s talk about transportation. More specifically–traffic during a snowstorm. It’s difficult for any of us to forget the January snowstorm that resulted in the shutdown of I-95, especially since everyone’s favorite dad, Tim Kaine was one of the many people stuck! So when Senator Marsden spoke with people in the trucking industry and proposed the bill to prohibit the use of cruise control and compression breaks during certain conditions, it seemed like a no-brainer. And apparently there was no brain in use when the governor vetoed this one.
- We’re not just getting scarecrow vibes here, though. The governor is full Tin Man with his clear attacks on Senator Ebbin. Here’s a look at a few of the nine bills from Senator Ebbin that were vetoed.
- Did you know there is a law that requires adult children to support their elderly parents? Violation could result in a $500 or up to a year in jail. There are a lot of reasons why this law needs to go away. But apparently the governor doesn’t see any.
- Insurance can be tricky, but it should always be fair. We didn’t see any downside to Senator Ebbin’s bill to protect living organ donors against discrimination from insurance companies. While the governor didn’t seem to agree with us for the Senate bill, he had a change of heart for the identical House bill. Doesn’t seem very fair.
- Other situations where the governor only saw the light with identical House bills include a bill that addresses parking spots reserved for charging electric vehicles, a bill that would essentially help keep tabs on Dominion Energy’s reliability, the Consumer Data Protection Act, and reforming the VEC (which we know is desperately needed).
- Is it common for a governor to veto a bill in one chamber and pass an identical bill in the other chamber? It’s about as likely as Governor Youngkin getting an invite to Taylor Swift’s wedding. #IYKYK
Bottom line is Governor Youngkin is playing bipartisan politics while people in the Commonwealth are struggling. It was only a few weeks ago that the governor interrupted our television sets with his skill of being able to hold a basketball–again–and gloated about how he was calling lawmakers back to Richmond to deliver a budget. Cost of sending legislators to Richmond, knowing negotiations were not read and a budget would not be delivered? $50,000. Cost of the ad? $150,000. His ad talks about helping all Virginians. But if we look at his recent actions as any indicator, he’s not actually interested in helping all Virginians. And while he might think he belongs on the court, others prefer to see him in court.
Before becoming a public servant, the governor was a businessman, and he hasn’t really stopped trying to sell Virginians on things. Remember that gas tax holiday? You know, the one that wasn’t guaranteed to actually help anyone, except corporations. If he really wanted to help all the people of the Commonwealth he would:
- Support a refundable EITC
- Support increased funding of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund
- Start calling his tax holidays what they really are–decreased funding for vital resources
His vetoes are not his victory. There’s a way around this. If two-thirds of the General Assembly vote in favor, his curse will be reveresed! Urge our lawmakers to do what the governor won’t–to care for the people of the Commonwealth. Contact them now, and tell them that when they come back to Richmond they need to fight for us. That means passing a budget that truly helps ALL of the people of the Commonwealth.
Learn more about Virginia’s budget by listening to our latest Twitter Space!