Yesterday my General Assembly colleagues and I returned to Richmond for the reconvened session. During this "veto session," we considered Governor Terry McAuliffe's vetoes and amendments. Governor McAuliffe signed over 700 bills this year; however, he vetoed 32 bills and amended an additional 57. He also made 30 amendments to the budget.
Frankly, I was disappointed by the nature of the Governor's vetoes. Over the past five weeks, he appeared more interested in dividing Virginians than in highlighting the positive bipartisan accomplishments of this year's session. The Governor vetoed legislation to keep our children safe in school, empower parents in their educational decisions, and protect coal jobs in Southwest Virginia.
In fact, the Governor vetoed six bills that passed the House with veto-proof bipartisan majorities. Unfortunately, during yesterday's session, many Democrats flipped their votes to support the Governor's vetoes.
Although the House successfully overrode two gubernatorial vetoes, Senate Democrats voted to protect these vetoes. The House voted to override a veto of legislation protecting historical war monuments and memorials from being altered or destroyed at a later date. Additionally, the House voted to override Governor McAuliffe's veto of the coal tax credit.
Governor McAuliffe also attempted to amend the budget to expand Medicaid and provide taxpayer funding for abortion. I am pleased that we were able to reject these efforts.
I am proud of many of the legislature's accomplishments this year. We passed a significant bipartisan agreement to secure the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. We also passed legislation to strengthen our economy and give more children the opportunity to succeed. Throughout all, we fought to advance conservative values.
With the reconvened session complete, the General Assembly has finished its work for 2016. We will return to Richmond in January of 2017 for the next legislative session.