Home Virginia Politics Video: Virginia Senate Dems Rip Youngkin’s Vetoes, Amendments – “total lack of...

Video: Virginia Senate Dems Rip Youngkin’s Vetoes, Amendments – “total lack of understanding”; “gotcha moments”; “almost comically incompetent”; “you just can’t make this stuff up”

Sen. Favola: Youngkin's Loudoun School Board amendment "part of this larger strategy of undermining the ability of school boards to governor our public schools"

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See below for video and a few highlights (below the videos) from the press conference just held by the Virginia Senate Democrats, regarding Gov. Youngkin’s vetoes and amendments on legislation by Virginia Senate Democratic members. Senators participating in the call included Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, Caucus Chair Mamie Locke, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Sen. Creigh Deeds, Sen. Scott Surovell, Sen. John Bell and Sen. Barbara Favola.

  • Sen. Mamie Locke: Youngkin has demonstrated “a total lack of understanding of either the legislation or…its impact. And what we have before us is ‘gotcha moments’ on the part of this governor, and we cannot govern by ‘gotcha’.”
  • Sen. Dick Saslaw: “I’ve been there, this is the 13th governor I’ve been under, and we’ve never had one like this before. What his vetoes showed more than anything else was not so much an ideological problem, but one of pettiness and vindictiveness. And that’s not the way you set up a good tone in government. It looks like he’s never gotten out of a campaign mode…His lack of experience and knowledge of Virginia government is beginning to show almost every day. This is not a government run by photo ops…And this ‘don’t get mad, get even’ mentality has got to stop.”
  • Sen. Adam Ebbin: “I was stunned at the governor’s unexplainable decision to veto meaningful, non-controversial legislation…Democrats are here to govern and ask our Republican colleagues to join us.”
  • Sen. Creigh Deeds: “This governor has not figured out yet that governing requires that we all work together…Republicans in the General Assembly are going to have to figure out whether they’re going to stand on their own two feet and try to help their governor understand the way government works.”
  • Sen. Scott Surovell: “The way this process is supposed to work, if you have a problem with the bill, you bring it up during session so you can talk about it; maybe you make some adjustments…maybe you can find a consensus…to try to reach good policy…If the governor wasn’t hiring everybody by using a headhunter, instead if he was using experienced policy professionals in his administration, than perhaps he would have gotten the feedback he needed to reach good decisions during session, and that is his fault…I think it was 7, 8, maybe 9 of these bills that were vetoed were passed unanimously by both chambers. From our perspective, it’s like beating a baby seal. I mean, who does that? When things go through that are unanimous..”
  • Sen. John Bell: There was no opposition to his bill to help provide energy efficiency measures “for our most vulnerable citizens,” that wouldn’t have cost taxpayers any money. “I never heard from the governor and his team during the legislative session about any problems with the bill” or “prior to the veto.” “It’s very unfortunate that this was vetoed without even a conversation.”
  • Sen. Dave Marsden: “The governor’s arguments against the bill were based on the introduced bill, and NOT the amendments that were made by both the House and the Senate as it went through the process…which is really kinda strange, and it shows you the level of effort that went into this…The governor’s argument was based on the fact that he was defending the truckers…when they were the ones who gave me the language the bill…This is almost comically incompetent. You just can’t make this stuff up.”
  • Sen. Barbara Favola: “Observing the workings of the governor’s office has been a very interesting and perplexing experience…The bills that land on the governor’s desk have passed the House and the Senate…often times with significant bipartisan support…I don’t know if there’s significant philosophical differences between Gov. Youngkin and the Republican majority in the House, or if they’re more management issues where the governor simply does not have an experienced team, does not understand the legislative process…that we really do have to work together to get to a positive result.”

 

  • Sen. John Bell on the Loudoun County School Board bill amendment by Gov. Youngkin: “That would cost the taxpayers money…frankly, those people there were elected by the citizens for their full time…It is my hope that the Senate will kill that amendment…I don’t believe it’s germane and it’s certainly not beneficial to the taxpayers and the citizens of Loudoun County.”
  • Sen. Barbara Favola on the Loudoun County School Board bill amendment by Gov. Youngkin: “It really appears that this is part of Gov. Youngkin’s ongoing campaign against public schools…To take the rug out from under [school board members] and ask all of them to run again in 2022, for NO good reason – there is no reason articulated in his amendment – I have to believe that it is just part of this larger strategy of undermining the ability of school boards to governor our public schools.”
  • Sen. Adam Ebbin on Gov. Youngkin vetoing so many of his bills: “I can’t read his mind, but he seems to take issue with people who voted against his nomination of Trump EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to be the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, which is why I think he vetoed so many of my bills. His office didn’t communicate before the vetoes directly…since the session has ended…When you go after legislators from one region or one party, that doesn’t really  send that signal at all [that Youngkin wants to be a governor for all Virginians] without giving a rationale at all.”
  • Sen. Scott Surovell: “The conundrum presented by this amendment just sort of reflects how much the governor doesn’t understand how to do this…If you’re going to propose policy that gets in and tries to undo some of those compromises…you need to approach the people who have to vote on the bill and have a dialogue, have some conversation about what it is you want to try to do…”
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