Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell has ruled unconstitutional and out of order a line item veto by Governor McAuliffe. The governor vetoed language introduced by Republicans in the General Assembly prohibiting his use of executive action to expand Medicaid. The Speaker contends that the Governor can only veto specific appropriations and not language nor conditions. Howell cites former Democratic Speaker Tom Moss’s similar ruling against then-Republican Governor George Allen’s line item vetoes as precedent.
Howell also ruled against McAuliffe’s veto of language that would prevent the Governor from appointing judges when the legislature is not in session. Governor McAuliffe attacked the Speaker’s ruling as a procedural gimmick that substituted his judgement for that of the judicial branch.
McAuliffe says he and his team will move forward to expand access to healthcare for Virginia’s working poor.