Connecting state and local government leaders

Virginia Governor Sets Veto Record

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe makes a toast during a dinner reception for the annual National Governors Association winter meeting Feb. 26 at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe makes a toast during a dinner reception for the annual National Governors Association winter meeting Feb. 26 at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Oroville Dam repairs slow going; Utah gov. eyes public lands; Wyoming city official doubles as track star.

VETOES | Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, on Monday vetoed three Republican voter fraud bills he said would suppress votes, one outlawing sanctuary cities, one scrutinizing welfare recipients, and one the GOP argued would streamline state government. McAuliffe sets a record high having vetoed 108 bills to date, the result of acting as a check on a gerrymandered Republican legislature, his supporters argue. “This new record is the disappointing result of four years of failed leadership by a disengaged governor, and is certainly not something to be celebrated,” said Assembly Speaker William Howell in a statement. “Divided government has been the norm over the past two decades of Virginia politics, but this governor has brought a new level of animosity and acrimony than we’ve ever seen.” [WRIC]

INFRASTRUCTURE | Permanent repairs to the Oroville Dam might not be complete by the next rainy season, which is expected to begin in November, the operators of the dam acknowledged on Monday. The dam is located in northern California. Parts of the spillway broke apart last month amid heavy rains, prompting concerns about catastrophic flooding below the dam. “If I have anything to say about it, we’ll have a spillway to use by Nov. 1,” said Bill Croyle, the acting director of the state Department of Water Resources. “Whether that’s a permanent or temporary structure, it hasn’t yet been decided.” [Sacramento Bee]

PUBLIC LANDS | Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah was among those who applauded President Trump’s repeal on Monday of Bureau of Land Management planning guidelines put in place toward the end of the Obama administration. Conservationists say Trump’s move favors extractive industries and ranchers. Herbert met briefly with the president at the White House during the signing of the repeal measure. The Republican governor also said Monday he invited Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to Utah to look at public lands issues, in particular the controversial Bears Ears National Monument. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

CONTRACTING | Despite the failure of similar legislation in the past, a bill that would require all state construction projects to use American-made materials and give Maine businesses the chance to match winning out-of-state contract bids is being mulled again by legislators. [Portland Press Herald]

IMMIGRATION | California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León isn’t giving up on his “sanctuary state” legislation just because U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to defund such jurisdictions. His bill would bar state and local police from enforcing federal immigration law. “Instead of making us safer, the Trump administration is spreading fear and promoting race-based scapegoating," De León said. "Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump’s inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation is unconstitutional and will fail.” [Los Angeles Times]

CITY COUNCILS | Casper, Wyoming city councilman Charlie Powell, 65, set a world record in track and field last Saturday, in his age group, as part of a men’s relay team at the World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championship in South Korea. [Casper Star Tribune]

FURLOUGHS | New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will order state employees to take unpaid days off as soon as April, if the legislature won’t agree on fixes to both this and next year’s budgets. Parks and museums will face closures, though legislators seem convinced the move is unnecessary and the state can scrape by. [Albuquerque Journal]