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Friday News: Trump Endorsers Should be Forced to Defend Everything He’s Said; VA GOP War on Voting Continues


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, May 20.

  • What was right-wing/Tea Party Republican SC Gov. Nikki Haley saying the other day about Virginia taking a “nose dive” under McAuliffe? Uh, try the exact opposite!

    Governor McAuliffe Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops Below 4.0%

    ~ Rate is lowest in the Commonwealth since June 2008 ~

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point in April and is now at 3.9 percent—the lowest rate since the June 2008 rate of 3.9 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which was unchanged in April at 5.0 percent.

    In April, Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth of 2.2 percent surpassed the national growth rate, which was 1.9 percent. For the seventh consecutive month, over-the-year growth in the Commonwealth has exceeded 2.0 percent and surpassed the national growth rate, which has been in the 1.9 to 2.0 percent range.

    Virginia had the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states and had the fourth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi.

    “Crossing below 4% unemployment marks a real milestone in our ongoing progress building a new Virginia economy and creating more opportunities for families across the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am proud that we have the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast and that we continue to outpace the nation when it comes to putting people back to work – but this is no time to let up. We are working every day to bring new jobs and investment to the Commonwealth and to lay a foundation for continued growth now and well into the future.”

    “Virginia’s economy continues its impressive growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This is due, first and foremost, to the unmatched talent that we have throughout the Commonwealth and additional assets in areas like our infrastructure and pro-business climate. We must continue to make the strategic investments necessary to continue this season of growth and ensure that all parts of the state benefit from it.”

    From April 2015 to April 2016, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased by 83,400 jobs. Over-the-year employment growth has been positive for the past 25 months. The private sector recorded an employment gain of 83,800 jobs, while the public sector recorded an employment loss of 400 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, seven of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

  • Governor McAuliffe Signs Biennial Budget, Uses Line-Item Veto to Remove Unconstitutional Provision Regarding Expanding Health Care

    Governor Terry McAuliffe completed his actions on legislation from the 2016 legislative session by signing House Bill 30, the biennial budget bill. The Governor also released the below statement to accompany his actions on the budget.

    For more information on the budget, please read the Governor’s communication to the General Assembly at the end of the 2016 legislative session: http://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=14589

    May 20, 2016

    I have completed my review of House Bill 30. Overall, this budget represents a significant accomplishment. I am pleased that we were able to work together to develop a fiscally responsible biennial budget. This historic budget provides $1 billion in additional funding for education, and it enhances funding for critical needs like transportation, support for our veterans, and initiatives to strengthen the new Virginia economy.

    I am also pleased that the General Assembly concurred with the majority of the amendments I proposed during the reconvened session. As a result, we will provide resources to advance Virginia’s position as a cybersecurity hub, better coordinate our bioscience research efforts, and strengthen protections for Virginia workers.

    I am returning House Bill 30 with my signature. However, pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Item 306.JJJ.4, which is unconstitutional. Item 306.JJJ.4 purports to condition “all appropriations in this act” and to govern “notwithstanding any other provision of this act, or any other law,” such that no funds may be expended or appropriated to implement expanded coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Item 306.JJJ.4 violates Article V, Section 6(d), which provides the Governor line-item veto power in appropriations acts. By conditioning all appropriations in the budget on Item 306.JJJ.4, the Governor’s ability to issue a line-item veto is removed. I object to Item 306.JJJ.4 as a condition on Item 306, yet I am unable to reject it without also rejecting all of the monies appropriated in this $100 billion budget bill. By drafting Item 306.JJJ.4 in its enrolled form, the General Assembly has attempted to entirely remove the Governor’s ability to reject an objectionable item, which is an unconstitutional overreach.

    Additionally, Item 306.JJJ.4 violates Article IV, Section 12, which mandates that “[n]o law shall embrace more than one object,” a constitutional prohibition on combining into one legislative act multiple provisions that separately may not each receive majority support. If the policy underlying Item 306.JJJ.4 were a separate bill, as it should have been, then I would have vetoed it and that veto certainly would have been sustained. The General Assembly has attempted to avoid that result by embedding that policy in the budget bill.

    Accordingly, I sign HB 30 and return it with a line-item veto of Item 306.JJJ.4, which is unconstitutional.


    Terence R. McAuliffe