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Republicans and Democrats are confused by one Youngkin veto


Governor Glenn Youngkin is taking final action this week on a number of bills from the General Assembly. That includes one about power lines.

Earlier this year, members of the General Assembly gave unanimous approval for funding an underground transmission line in Fauquier County and an underground distribution line in Fairfax County. But Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoed that bill — a shock to Senator Jill Vogel, a Republican from Fauquier County.

"The governor vetoed a bill that was passed unanimously out of the House and unanimously out of the Senate," Vogel says. "And the rub is that the governor took a very strong position on behalf of ratepayers. But the people in my district care very deeply about the impact of this in the community that I represent."

That community is Fauquier County, although the bill also had funding for an underground distribution line in Fairfax County. Here's Senator Scott Surovell, a Democrat from Fairfax County.

"I was really dumbfounded by the fact that he vetoed it," Surovell says. "This was a bill that was carried by the majority whip in the House, Delegate Webert. Senator Vogel in my chamber, a pretty senior Republican senator. And I had worked with both of them on a bipartisan basis to get a bill that we could all agree on that would do good things for all of us."

The governor says he’s looking out for ratepayers, but Senator Vogel and Senator Surovell say they are looking out for their constituents.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.