Governor Kaine Announces Action on General Assembly Legislation
Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that he has vetoed several bills passed by the 2009 General Assembly. Additional action on legislation will be announced in the coming days. Legislators are scheduled to consider the Governor's actions during a reconvened session on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.
Governor Kaine released information on his vetoes of the following legislation:
SB 1069, HB 2358, SB 961, HB 2638, SB 1409
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1069, House Bill 2358, Senate Bill 961, House Bill 2638 and Senate Bill 1409, which expand the capital murder statute to increase the number of offenders who would be eligible for capital punishment.
"Virginia is already second in the nation in the number of executions we carry out. While the nature of the offenses targeted by this legislation is very serious, I do not believe that further expansion of the death penalty is necessary to protect human life."
Guns in Bars
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1035, which would allow persons to carry concealed weapons into restaurants or clubs that serve alcoholic beverages.
"Allowing concealed weapons into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol puts the public, the employees, and our public safety officers at risk. I take seriously the objections of law enforcement to this measure."
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 877, which would allow retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons into restaurants or clubs that serve alcoholic beverages.
"While it makes sense for current law enforcement officers to be permitted to carry their firearms when in such establishments, there is no compelling reason for retired law enforcement officers to have weapons in locations where alcohol is served."
HB 1613, SB1374
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1613 and Senate Bill 1374, which would allow unlicensed law enforcement officers to operate new, unregulated lie detection devices.
"I proposed an amendment to HB 1613 that would have allowed additional devices, but regulate them in a way similar to the existing rules for polygraph machines. Unfortunately, that amendment was defeated by the House.
"Untested, unregulated devices should not be used in police investigations. Law enforcement conceded as much when they added an amendment prohibiting the use of these machines in internal investigations."
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1851, which would create a new exemption to Virginia's one handgun a month law.
"The new exemption would apply to active duty service members, whether Virginia residents or not. Because holders of valid Virginia concealed weapons permits are already able to purchase more than one handgun per month, House Bill 1851 only extends the ability to buy more than one handgun a month to nonresidents or those Virginians unable to obtain a concealed weapons permit."
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1528, which would allow the firearms training required to receive a concealed weapons permit to be completed online.
"The state requires an applicant for a concealed weapons permit to take a written safety test to demonstrate that the individual understands how to use a weapon in a safe manner. Allowing the testing to be done online would weaken the ability of the Commonwealth to determine who is actually taking the test and open up opportunities for individuals to receive a permit under fraudulent circumstances with no guarantee that they can use a weapon safely."
"Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2528, which unnecessarily interferes with the operations of local governments. Specifically, the bill prohibits local law enforcement from choosing to conduct voluntary gun buyback programs and then destroying the weapons.
"Some localities have found this program to be effective in reducing the number of illegal firearms in their communities. It is not a mandatory program, and law enforcement in each locality have made the decision whether such a program is desirable in their own county or city. There is no compelling reason for the General Assembly to take this decision out of the hands of local law enforcement."