HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Both the House of Delegates and the Senate are addressing the eight line-item vetoes from Governor Terry McAuliffe on Monday evening.
Senator Emmett Hanger, who represents parts of the Valley, said some of the vetoes, including one that vetoes all of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, MIRC, are symbolic. Hanger is the chairman of the commission. Another veto, that McAuliffe couldn't expand Medicaid without General Assembly approval, also faces constitutional questions.
If the Delegates or Senators want to override any of the vetoes, they would need two thirds approval from both chambers, which is pretty unlikely given Democrats still have a strong holding in the Senate; however, Republicans may use legal maneuvering to block some of the governor's vetoes.
McAuliffe hasn't said exactly what he would do now to expand health coverage, but made it clear he will look into it through his own powers, something Hanger doesn't agree with.
"The governor was staking some tactical positions, but the truth of the matter is, he's going to be around for three and a half more years, and we've got to work together, so his threats not to work with the General Assembly, I think we're not appropriate, if you will. I didn't take it personal because we've got to forge alliances to work with the administration," said Hanger.
The governor has asked Virginia Secretary of Health Bill Hazel to come up with a plan by September 1 for how to address health care; however, before any expansion happens, legislators, like Hanger, hope both sides can work together.
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