Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this morning vetoed House Bill 2042. The bill, patroned by Del. Kathleen Murphy (D – Fairfax) and House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R – Shenandoah), was a bipartisan effort to protect survivors of repeat domestic abuse. On the same day, Governor Northam wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post attempting to link his vetoes to repairing his own badly damaged reputation in the African American community.
Under the bill, those who are convicted of abuses against a family member multiple times within a 10 year window would be sentenced to a minimum of 60 days in jail — giving survivors the assurance their abusers would be unable to hurt them again for at least two months.
“This was a bipartisan effort to protect women from their abusers,” said Gilbert. “Republicans and Democrats in the House as well as the Senate sent this bill to the Governor’s desk by huge majorities. His veto today is unconscionable.”
“When Republicans called on Ralph Northam to resign in February, it was because we felt he could no longer effectively govern,” Gilbert said. “Today’s vetoes are proof of that. When given the choice of protecting women who have survived domestic abuse or attempting to repair his own racist legacy, he put himself first.”
“The survivors of abuse, and Virginians as a whole, deserve better.”