Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1684.

House Bill 1684 deals with an important issue by making it clear that employees of the Department of Emergency Management, or any employee of any city, county or town who dies in the line of duty while performing emergency services, is covered under the Virginia Line of Duty Act. Enactment of the bill would ensure that the individual’s beneficiary would be eligible to receive any benefits under the Act.

During the 2003 Session the General Assembly also passed Senate Bill 822 dealing with this same issue, but containing different language. The patron of House Bill 1684 recognized that the important issue identified in both bills was adequately addressed in Senate Bill 822 and that it was unnecessary for similar bills to go forward and become law in the Commonwealth.

I would like to recognize Delegate Ryan McDougle for his efforts on behalf of the emergency services and hazardous materials workers in the Commonwealth, and it is at his request and with his support that I, therefore, veto this bill.

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