May 21, 2024
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin took action on a final batch of bills from the year’s regular legislative session Friday, signing seven but vetoing 48, including closely watched measures that would have ended a tax break for a Confederate heritage organization and allowed small businesses to host skill games, which are similar to slot machines.

The vetoes came after Youngkin first proposed amendments that the legislature rejected. In a nighttime statement, he said he was willing to keep working with the Democratic-controlled General Assembly on the issues but was vetoing measures that were “not ready to become law.”

Youngkin made clear that among the topics he is open to continuing to negotiate is legislation related to contraception. He vetoed at least one such measure, a Democratic priority, that was intended to protect access to birth control.

“I support access to contraception,” Youngkin said. “However, we cannot trample on the religious freedoms of Virginians. And that is the issue the recommendations I sent back to the General Assembly addressed.”

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Democrats criticized the veto, with state party chair Susan Swecker saying in a statement, “Youngkin just proved to Virginians that once again, he does not care about their health or rights.”

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