Since the 2017 General Assembly session adjourned in February, Governor McAuliffe has taken action on several important pieces of legislation we have been monitoring, which you can find on the Chamber's "Bills We're Watching."
The General Assembly met Wednesday for a reconvened session, or "veto session," to consider 40 bill vetoes, 84 bill amendments and 27 budget amendments. Governor McAuliffe's veto total over his 4-year term as Governor is the highest of any Virginia Governor at 110 vetoes.
During the 2017 General Assembly session, the Virginia Chamber tracked over 500 bills and 750 budget amendments. There were 54 Blueprint Virginia bills and budget amendments that the Chamber supported. Unfortunately, legislators introduced 35 bills detrimental to the Commonwealth's business climate. The Chamber worked with pro-business legislators to prevent harmful mandates and regulations from passing the legislature. All 35 anti-business bills were defeated. If those bills were enacted into law, they would have cost employers over $6 billion to implement.
While the majority of the Governor's legislative vetoes concerned social issue bills, he did veto several pro-business bills that would have improved education, supported small businesses, and reduced the costs of public contracts. The Governor was able to sustain all 40 of his vetoes.
The General Assembly agreed to 14 of the Governor's 27 budget amendments, many of which were technical in nature. Some of the highlights include: