Lawmakers returning to Richmond for Wednesday’s ‘veto session’

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The General Assembly is getting ready for a busy day Wednesday. Lawmakers will be taking a final look at more than 100 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments. They cover everything from access to guns to support for public schools.

This legislative session, the governor has vetoed 40 bills.

“I’m a big baseball guy, and records are important, like homerun records. I would not want to have the veto record,” said Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights).

But McAuliffe now does, surpassing any previous Virginia governor.

Some of the bills from this session include six on education, five related to guns and three that have to do with voting.

On Wednesday, legislators will consider all of them during their one-day reconvened session, or “veto session.”

Republicans say McAuliffe has been one of the most difficult governors to deal with.

“I wish he would work harder on working through the bills with us. I wish he would work harder on celebrating when we sign a bill,” said House Majority Leader Cox.

So far, they’ve passed more than 700 bills together.

“We’ve heard almost nothing from him on those. He tends to have press conferences and radio interviews on things he’s vetoed. I’ve never seen another governor do that,” said Cox.

On Tuesday, McAuliffe told the crowd at a crime victims’ rights event it’s not that he relishes vetoing, but rather he’s been clear about what he’ll support.

“If we have instances where we’re going to take women’s rights to make their own personal decisions or to go after members of the LGBT community or things that are going to hurt our environment or going to put more guns on the street and do things to hurt victims and not help them, I’m going to veto it,” said McAuliffe.

The governor is feeling confident going into the veto session. His prediction?

“I will be 111 and 0 and they will not be able to override any of our vetoes,” he said.

It’ll be tough to break his streak. Historically, few vetoes have been overridden. It takes a two-thirds vote from both the house and the senate.

Of the 100 members of the house, 66 are republican. Sixty-seven votes would be needed to challenge a veto. The senate has 40 members. Just over half are republicans.

Lawmakers on Wednesday are also considering more than 70 of the governor’s recommendations. One of the biggest talkers is a budget amendment that would expand Medicaid.

“That will be a big fight,” said Cox.

Wednesday’s session begins at noon. Stay with 8News for coverage.

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