Republicans were unable to muster the two-thirds majorities in both chambers required to override any of McAuliffe’s 17 vetoes during the reconvened assembly session on Wednesday on issues ranging from political redistricting to gun rights and voter restrictions.
“The governor went 17 for 17 on vetoes today,” said spokesman Brian Coy. “He vetoed bills that took our commonwealth in the wrong direction, and the General Assembly backed him up.”
McAuliffe made clear Wednesday that he sides with law enforcement on the surveillance issues, personally lobbying the House and Senate Democratic caucuses in support of his proposed amendments.
“As it comes to public safety issues, I am always going to come down on the side of law enforcement
,” he said after meeting with Senate Democrats.
McAuliffe cited meetings with Virginia State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty and the sheriffs’ and police chiefs’ associations. “All of them are saying to me, ‘Use the tools we need to help keep Virginians safe,’ ” he said.
“That to me is more important than job creation or anything else. The safety of your community and of your family ... this legislation helps us do it. It’s not overboard, it is common sense and reasonable.”