Finally, McDonnell faces pushback
Virginia legislators have finally ended the free ride they had been giving to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell since his January inauguration, although they have handed him a victory by cutting state funding for abortions.
Meeting in a special session Wednesday to consider McDonnell's tweaks to an $83 billion budget plan, legislators, including some Republicans, refused McDonnell's attempts to cut spending for at-risk children and public broadcasting. Also shot down were the governor's attempts to have managed-care firms take over state mental health service and stop euthanizing dogs if they were considered of a harmful breed.
But lawmakers finally agreed to a McDonnell proposal to limit state funding for abortions to cases of rape or incest or when the mother's life is at risk. They gave McDonnell, a staunch social conservative, a win on this issue.
My take? The honeymoon is over for McDonnell, especially among some Republicans annoyed at the bad media attention his administration has attracted nationally. Some also dislike having McDonnell claim he's vetoing nothing when he's making the General Assembly work overtime dealing with his considerable legislative tinkering.
| April 22, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
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