House ignores McAuliffe’s budget vetoes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Republican lawmakers are rejecting pro-labor and pro-Medicaid expansion tweaks Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe tried to make in the state budget through vetoes.

House Speaker William J. Howell said Wednesday that he’d directed the House clerk not to include the attempted vetoes in the final enrolled version of the budget, saying they were invalid.

In a three-page letter sent to the governor, Howell said he’s ‘duty-bound not to publish’ the vetoes.

McAuliffe tried to veto a budget section he said “could preclude” unionized construction contractors from taking part in public-private transportation projects and a section prohibiting him from expanding Medicaid. Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion and said they’re trying to make sure non-unionized companies aren’t unfairly excluded from major construction projects.

Howell took similar action last year on attempted Medicaid-related veto last year. Brian Coy, a spokesman for McAuliffe, said the governor is reviewing the House’s actions.

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