State Republicans Look to Limit Governor's Power

Feb 10, 2017

Rules and regulations from Governor Terry McAuliffe have sparked efforts among state Republicans to limit his and future governors' power.
Credit Steve Helber / AP

Republicans in Richmond are trying to crack down on what they call regulation gone wild. 

Republican lawmakers don’t care for all the rules and regulations coming out of the Democratic governor’s office. So they are launching a plan to undercut his authority, and every future governor’s authority. Republican Senator Jill Vogel of Fauquier says lawmakers should have the right to overturn any rule or regulation with a simple majority vote.

“What we all saw happen in November in my view is absolutely a reaction to what people believe is administrative regulation gone wild and gone unchecked.”

Democratic Senator John Edwards of Roanoke says allowing lawmakers to meddle in the executive branch would be a radical shift to the balance of power in Virginia.

“The governor is taken out of the picture entirely. The executive has no say at all, and by the way we elect them every four years. You can’t succeed yourself, so if you’re not happy with one governor maybe you’ll be happy with the next governor.”

Here’s the kicker, the governor can’t veto this change. That’s because it’s a constitutional amendment, which could be on the ballot next year if lawmakers approve ballot language this year and again next year. That means voters would have the final say on the balance of power in Capitol Square.