RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Today, Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed a bill that would have exempted impoverished tenants from posting expensive bonds when appealing their evictions.
The bills, which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support, were identical, but passed separately by the House of Delegates and Senate.
The law would allow “indigent” tenants — those a court determines do not have sufficient financial resources to shoulder court costs — to appeal their evictions without posting an appeal bond, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Gov. Youngkin said in a veto explanation filed in the General Assembly, that he vetoed the legislation because the assembly “rejected my proposed amendments.”
Youngkin’s amendment would have essentially gutted the legislation, requiring the tenant to pay the landlord for court costs and back rent in monthly installments before their appeal is heard in circuit court. Essentially, tenants would still be on the hook for the cost of the bond, but would be able to pay in installments instead of up front.
“It’s deeply disappointing that Gov. Youngkin chose to reject bills with strong bipartisan support that would have given indigent tenants a meaningful opportunity to appeal an eviction,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), the bill’s patron in the senate.
In the senate, the bill passed with the support of two Republicans. In the House of Delegates, which is currently controlled by Republicans, it netted 60 votes total in support.
“I am extremely disappointed in the Governor’s decision to veto these bipartisan pieces of legislation,” Delegate Jeffrey Bourne (D-Richmond) said.
One of Youngkin’s top campaign donors was Ramon W. Breeden, a real estate developer whose site boasts that they manage “over 15,000 apartment homes across Virginia.”