Senator Mark Obenshain statement on mandatory minimum sentence legislation

mark obenshainSenator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) released the following statement today regarding Governor Northam’s blanket commitment to veto all mandatory minimum bills for the remainder of his term as governor.

Northam recently vetoed a bipartisan bill that provided harsher punishments for those who commit domestic violence for the second time in a ten year span.

Obenshain said, “In a Washington Post Editorial, our governor made a blanket statement regarding mandatory minimums here in Virginia. He will not be signing any more mandatory minimum bills – instead choosing to veto every one, without regard for merit or necessity.”

The governor claims that mandatory minimums disproportionately impact minorities.

“I have had the opportunity for the last four years to chair the Senate Courts of Justice Committee,” Obenshain continued. “I hear heartbreaking testimony every year from citizens who endure domestic violence situations and bravely come to testify to make situations safer for victims in the future. I was proud to vote for and support HB 2042 – it was bipartisan and it was common sense. Northam’s decision to veto is a disappointment. More broadly, Northam’s decision to blanketly veto any mandatory minimum bills for the remainder of his term shows that he is more worried about his political image than governing.”

Senator Obenshain represents the 26th District in the Senate of Virginia.  The district includes the City of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).  He serves as Chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and Chairman of the Virginia State Crime Commission.

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