State lawmakers ready for return to Richmond for final work on bills

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s a full day for the Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday as lawmakers review 150 pieces of legislation that have been amended or vetoed by the governor.

“I’m so pleased with the progress that we’ve made, but we still have work to do,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin, (R) Virginia.

Youngkin amended more than 100 pieces of legislation. He made amendments to the controversial facial recognition legislation to require more training.

And one bill modifies what the definition of “marijuana” would be, making it a misdemeanor to have more than two ounces of it.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with two different JLARC studies figuring out the best way to legalize marijuana in a way that upholds safety and upholds fairness, and I don’t think his amendments do that,” said State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D) 9th District.

The governor vetoed 26 measures, including a bill that would’ve given localities the ability to take legal action against landlords that don’t address serious violations within a reasonable time frame.

He also vetoed a measure that would prevent operators of heavy trucks from using cruise control or compression release brakes when driving in active winter weather conditions.

“I think that there’s a general understanding that we’ve improved some bills with our amendments, and I expect there to be some discussion and debate about that, of course,” said Youngkin.

The General Assembly can override the vetoes and amendments with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Meanwhile, state budget negotiators for the House and Senate are still $3 billion apart. Republicans are pushing tax relief, while Democrats say it’s time to invest.

“We are at a unique opportunity to finally pay some of those bills off and invest in our children and our school infrastructure and in our people,” said State Sen. McClellan.

The Senate and House both gavel in at noon Wednesday.

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