Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after all 40 of his vetoes were upheld and 83 percent of his amended legislation was accepted during the 2017 reconvened session. The Governor vetoed a total of 111 bills through four legislative sessions, all of which were sustained:
“This session, I asked the General Assembly to help to continue our successful efforts to build a stronger, more diverse economy in every corner of the Commonwealth from Lee to Loudon. I’m proud to say that we were able to provide well-deserved and overdue raises to our state employees, law enforcement, and teachers. We made historic investments that will help us combat the growing opioid epidemic and provide needed assistance to those suffering from mental health issues. We also closed a billion-dollar budget shortfall, while protecting vital public services like K-12 education.
“As in years past, this session can be measured by bipartisan cooperation and accomplishment. Unfortunately, we also saw legislation that would have compromised our efforts to ensure Virginia is open and welcoming to all. As I made clear at the outset, I would veto any socially divisive legislation that threatens our economy and our reputation. I upheld that commitment by vetoing bills that would have divided our Commonwealth and hurt our economy by making it more difficult to attract new businesses and families to locate here.
“I remain disappointed that Republicans chose to block our efforts to expand Medicaid and reinstate the one-handgun-per-month rule. Both proposals are common-sense measures that would save lives in Virginia.
“In spite of our differences, we have had far more bipartisan successes over the past three years as we worked together on a new economic vision for Virginia. As my team and I prepare for our final review of the actions taken by the General Assembly today, I want to thank my colleagues in the legislative branch. I appreciate that legislators on both sides of the aisle have worked with me on much of the agenda I proposed at the beginning of this session, and I am grateful for their contributions to the work we are doing to create jobs, strengthen our communities, and lay the foundation for a new Virginia economy.”