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General Assembly convenes to review amended and vetoed bills

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:30 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Finalizing leftover legislation, state lawmakers returned to the Virginia General Assembly Wednesday.

“The governor paid attention to quite a number of bills and we’ll see how those move forward,” said Del. Michael Webert, (R) 18th District.

The governor amended or vetoed more than 150 bills.

The Senate approved the governor’s amendment to a bill allowing police to use facial recognition technology, with more training.

Gov. Youngkin amended a marijuana bill that was originally about banning gummy shapes that might appeal to kids, to include making it a misdemeanor penalty for possession of more than 2 ounces.

“The Governor’s amendment on the marijuana bill is very concerning and I think it goes in the wrong direction,” said State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, (D) 9th District.

The Senate later rejected the governor’s amended version of the bill.

Earlier in the day, the senate finance committee rejected a proposal to eliminate the gas tax in Virginia for 90 days.

The move would cut about 0.26 cents off a gallon of gas, at a cost to the state of about $437 million.

Democrats wanted to give people a $50 gas gift card, which previously failed.

“The Senate position is clear. We rejected. It’s really a gimmick that won’t ultimately help consumers but will blow a hole in our maintenance budget,” said State Sen. McClellan.

GOP leadership says they will likely have to negotiate with Democrats on this by changing some of the percentages on the gas tax concept, but nothing has been announced as of now.

“The question that lies in what is the reason why the Senate didn’t want to continue to provide that relief to the people of Virginia,” said Del. Webert.

In a statement from the Governor’s office, a spokesperson responded, “Senate Democrats showed today that they are completely out of touch with Virginians. Refusing to lower gas prices in Virginia is a direct affront to the millions in the Commonwealth who are experiencing increased cost of living across the board. This is deeply disappointing for all those who expect their elected representatives to work on their behalf, not against it.”

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