- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Latest on the Virginia General Assembly’s consideration on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments to legislation passed earlier this year (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Virginia’s Senate has failed to overturn Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a bill that seeks to prevent local governments from moving Confederate and Civil War monuments.

The GOP-controlled Senate was unable to muster a two-thirds majority to override the Democratic governor’s veto.

McAuliffe said in his veto message last month that communities across Virginia are having “difficult and complicated” discussions about whether to remove symbols of the Confederacy. McAuliffe said doesn’t believe the state should take away localities’ ability to make those decisions.

Virginia law already bars local governments from removing war monuments. But supporters of the bill say the law protects only monuments raised since 1998.

___

2:10 p.m.

Virginia lawmakers have killed a measure that sought to force schools to warn parents if their children will be assigned books with sexually explicit content.

The Republican-led House fell one vote short of overturning Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of the bill on Wednesday.

The measure was pushed by a Fairfax County mother who tried unsuccessfully to remove Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” from her children’s school several years ago.

McAuliffe said in his veto message that he believes it’s inappropriate to interfere with local school board policy. He also said the bill is unnecessary because the Virginia Board of Education is already examining such a policy.

Republican Del. Steve Landes, who sponsored the bill, said McAuliffe has forgotten that “the most important player in our educational system is the parent.”

2 p.m.

Republican lawmakers have failed in attempt to extend coal-related tax credits.

The Virginia Senate failed to override Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of tax credits Wednesday.

GOP lawmakers from the state’s coal country in Southwest Virginia, said the credits provide vital relief to an area hard-hit by coal’s decline.

The legislation would extend coal-tax related credits, which are due to expire soon, for several years.

McAuliffe said the credits haven’t worked and are a needless giveaway to coal executives.

Both chambers of the General Assembly approved the legislation by veto-proof margins earlier this year, but some Democrats in the Senate changed their minds to help uphold McAuliffe’s veto.

___

1:30 p.m.

Virginia’s Republican-controlled House has voted to overturn Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a bill that seeks to prevent local governments from moving Confederate and Civil War monuments.

The House voted 68-32 in favor of overriding the governor’s veto. The measure faces another vote in the GOP-controlled Senate.

McAuliffe said in his veto message last month that communities across Virginia are having “difficult and complicated” discussions about whether to remove symbols of the Confederacy. McAuliffe said doesn’t believe the state should take away localities’ ability to make those decisions.

Virginia law already bars local governments from removing war monuments. But supporters of the bill say the law protects only monuments raised since 1998.

1:15 p.m.

The Virginia Senate has upheld Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of legislation that states clergy and religious organizations cannot be penalized for declining to participate in same-sex marriages.

The Republican-backed bill failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority Wednesday to override the governor’s veto. The failure to override was widely expected.

Similar legislation has been proposed in states across the country to protect those who - due to religious beliefs - decline to employ or serve certain people.

Recent laws denounced as discriminatory in North Carolina and Mississippi has prompted a growing backlash from opponents. Supports say the legislation protects religious freedom.

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has sought to make the issue a talking point for the 2017 campaign.

___

1 p.m.

The Virginia Senate has rejected proposed changes by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the state’s new ethics law, saying they were unnecessary.

McAuliffe had sought to tighten some of the limits on gifts lawmakers can accept from lobbyists and others. Lawmakers agreed to a $100 cap on gifts during last year’s session, but passed legislation this year that makes exceptions for certain kinds of gifts, including food and drinks under $20.

The governor also wanted to prohibit lobbyists from bundling gifts together from multiple clients to avoid exceeding the $100 cap.

The Senate voted against those proposals Wednesday.

McAuliffe can now veto all of the changes lawmakers proposed this year to the ethics law, or sign in into law it as it passed earlier this year without any of his amendments.

___

4:36 a.m.

Virginia lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol to make changes to new economic development initiative, finalize a state budget, and discuss whether the Old Dominion should tweak its still young ethics laws.

Wednesday is the so-called veto session, where legislators return to Richmond for a day to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments to legislation passed earlier this year.

McAuliffe and Republican leaders say they’ve reached a compromise on a new economic development initiative backed by some of the state’s biggest corporate titans.

But it’s unclear if lawmakers will accept some of the governor’s proposed changes to the state’s new ethics law. The governor wants to tighten some of law’s provision related to meals and drinks lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide