The governor of Virginia has vetoed two bills related to medical debt collection, although there may be enough voted in the state legislature to override both vetoes, according to published reports.
One bill, introduced by state Rep. Nadarius Clark, would have lowered the statute of limitations on medical debts to three years, from five. The other bill would have prohibited debts being placed with third-party collectors until individuals found out if they qualified for financial support from the state’s Victim’s Fund.
Gov. Glen Youngkin did not give a reason why he chose to veto both bills.
The state’s General Assembly will convene later this month for a veto session. A two-thirds majority from members of the House of Delegates and the Senate can override a governor’s veto. The statute of limitations bill passed in the House of Delegates by a vote of 88 to 11 and in the Senate by a vote of 40 to 0, so it’s likely that the governor’s veto could be overturned. The other bill, SB 297, passed in the Senate by a vote of 24 to 15 and in the House of Delegates by a vote of 91 to 7.
A published report noted that of the 26 bills that were vetoed by Gov. Youngkin, none were sponsored by Republicans.
“The veto today can only mean one thing: Gov. Youngkin is completely disconnected from working class people who will continue to suffer with insurmountable debt,” Rep Clark said in a statement. “He is being pushed and pulled around by the debt collection industry, the very people who stand to benefit when Virginians are struggling to get back on their feet in the face of a global pandemic.”