The General Assembly returned to the Capitol on Wednesday for the reconvened session to consider the Governor's vetoes and amendments. HB1626, the Tebow Bill, was vetoed by the Governor, and the House, the chamber of origin, failed to override the veto on a 60-39 vote. It was widely thought that the bill would survive the House, but die in the Senate. The House vote was a bit of a surprise. It takes two thirds of the votes to override, so this bill is dead.
Here is an excerpt from the Governor’s veto explanation:
Allowing home-schooled students to participate in interscholastic competitions would disrupt the level playing field Virginia’s public schools have developed over the past century. For example, VHSL rules state that a student must pass five subjects or the equivalent in the previous semester, and be enrolled in five subjects or the equivalent offered for credit toward graduation, in order to participate in the league’s events. While the bill provides that home-schooled students must demonstrate evidence of progress in order to participate in interscholastic activities, the unique nature of their educational situation precludes conformity to the same standards.
Virginia’s public schools provide a complete package of scholastic offerings and access to extracurricular activities. Participation in athletic and academic competitions is a privilege for students who satisfy eligibility requirements. Opening participation in those competitions to individuals who are not required to satisfy the same criteria upends Virginia’s extracurricular framework and codifies academic inequality in interscholastic competition.
We thank Governor McAuliffe for his veto of this bill, and I ask you to look at the House vote. It is interesting!
YEAS--Adams, Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Berg, Byron, Campbell, Cline, Cole, Cox, Davis, DeSteph, Edmunds, Fariss, Farrell, Fowler, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Hodges, Hugo, Joannou, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, LaRock, Leftwich, LeMunyon, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Miller, Minchew, Morefield, Morris, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Peace, Pillion, Pogge, Poindexter, Ramadan, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Scott, Stolle, Taylor, Villanueva, Ware, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Mr. Speaker--60.
NAYS--Albo, Austin, BaCote, Bloxom, Bulova, Carr, Filler-Corn, Futrell, Helsel, Herring, Hester, Hope, Ingram,James, Keam, Kory, Krupicka, Lindsey, Lopez, Mason, McClellan, McQuinn, Murphy, Orrock, Plum, Preston, Rasoul, Rust, Sickles, Simon, Spruill, Sullivan, Surovell, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, Watts, Yost--39.
First, note that there are only 99 votes. That’s because Delegate Joe Morrisey’s seat was vacated in accordance with the Virginia Constitution when he moved away from his House district. Second, note the Republicans who supported the veto: Austin, Bloxom, Ingram, Orrock, Rust and Yost. Finally, note that only one Democrat opposed the veto, Johnny Joannou.
I hope to see you at the Put Kids First Rally tomorrow!