We are now cruising toward the end of the 2022 General Assembly session. With the two bodies in hands of opposite parties, there has been a lot of killing of bills in recent days: Republicans in the House of Delegates are slicing away at the legislation coming from the Democratic Senate; Democrats in the Senate are whacking away at measures sent over from the GOP House.
In other words, exactly what the Sun Gazette’s editorial page was hoping for when it called, before the November 2021 election, for divided government.
For those who do not commit our editorials to memory (and why not?), we provide this excerpt:
We’re not particularly interested exactly how this might shake out. Maybe it means letting Terry McAuliffe have a second time in the Governor’s Mansion, but give him a Republican House of Delegates and Republicans as lieutenant governor and attorney general to balance things out. Or let Democrats hold the House of Delegates but install Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor.
But, voters, if you want sanity in statewide government, divided government is the way to go. Now you just have to go out and make it happen.
And, in their wisdom, voters did!
The end result for 2022 will be that the only legislation getting to Gov. Youngkin’s desk in coming weeks will be that which has support of both parties, or at least some within each party. All those party-line votes on overtly partisan legislation earlier in the session will amount to nothing.
It’s a win-win: Virginians get less legislation overall (and less is almost invariably preferable to more) and the only measures that will pass will be in somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum, not on the extremes.
In a word: Hooray!