House Bills Vetoed by the Governor
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An Act to amend and reenact §§ 2.2-208, 2.2-2101, as it is
currently effective and as it shall become effective, 22.1-212.23,
22.1-253.13:2, 23.1-1100, and 58.1-638 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the
Code of Virginia by adding in Title 22.1 a chapter numbered 19.2, consisting of
sections numbered 22.1-349.12 through 22.1-349.16, relating to the creation of
the Virginia Virtual School.
02/24/17 House: Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1400ER)
08/31/16 House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100178D
Patrons--Bell, Richard P., Campbell, Cole, Dudenhefer, Fariss, Fowler,
Freitas, Greason, Landes, Lingamfelter, Massie, O'Bannon and Stolle
Passed the House of Delegates
February 7, 2017
Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of
Virginia, I veto House Bill 1400, which would create a new executive branch
agency known as the Virginia Virtual School. This entity, governed by an independent
policy board, would facilitate the provision of full-time, online education
programs for students throughout Virginia.
This bill is virtually identical to HB 8 (2016). The Office of
the Attorney General advised that HB 8 was unconstitutional; consequently, I
In establishing the Virginia Virtual School outside of the
jurisdiction of the Board of Education, and most importantly, local school
boards, this legislation raises significant constitutional concerns.
Students throughout Virginia need and deserve access to a wide
variety of high quality virtual learning opportunities, including both blended
and full-time options. Following my 2016 veto of HB 8, the Secretary of Education
and Virginia Department of Education convened a workgroup composed of a broad
range of stakeholders to explore alternative policy proposals to expand access
for students. The workgroup's recommendations formed the basis of new
legislation, proposed this year at my request, which would have expanded access
for students in every corner of the Commonwealth. This would be accomplished
within a constitutionally-sound governance model that provided flexibility for
local school divisions and maximized necessary supports for enrolled students.
It is unfortunate that despite this alternative proposal, the
legislature instead chose to send me unconstitutional legislation nearly
identical to that which I vetoed last year.
HB 1400 would create a new state agency outside the
constitutional framework governing school divisions and boards.
Accordingly, I veto this bill.
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