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Youngkin takes action on 50 bills

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(The Center Square) — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin acted on 50 more bills Thursday, signing 30 and vetoing 20.

This is the second batch of bills the governor has taken action on in the 2024 legislative session. The General Assembly sent him 84 bills on March 1, of which he signed 64, amended 12, and vetoed eight on March 8 (he has seven days to act on any legislation sent to him before the end of the session).

Most of Thursday’s bills were companion bills – bills introduced in the House of Delegates and the Senate that have similar, if not identical, content – regarding mundane matters like the number of warning lights police cars, firetrucks and ambulances can have, raising the age of exemption from jury duty and who can claim roadkill.

Some were more notable like House Bill 468, patroned by Del. Joe McNamara, R-Roanoke, which creates an economic incentives program for financial institutions moving to Roanoke County. The commonwealth will award a $15 million grant over 10 years to any eligible bank, credit union, credit card company or the like that spends at least $87 million on a facility in the county and creates 1,100 full-time jobs there.

Senate Bill 570, patroned by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, requires government agents or agencies, like other employers in Virginia employing more than five workers, to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

The governor vetoed 20 bills, bringing the total number of vetoed legislation this session to 28. He has vetoed more restrictive gun laws; both the House and Senate versions of a bill regarding books with sexually explicit content; a bill on parental possession of legal substances like alcohol or marijuana; bills on voter registration, prospective employer access to potential employee historical salary data, class action lawsuits and a few environmental bills, among others.

During his first two years in office, Youngkin vetoed a total of 41 bills. By comparison, his Democratic predecessors Northam and McAuliffe vetoed 54 and 36, respectively, during the first half of their governorships. With the Democratic majority in the House and Senate and many new, more progressive legislators, Youngkin’s veto pen may see a lot of action before April 17, when the General Assembly will reconvene to vote on his vetoes and amendments.

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