DEL. CLARK’S STATEMENT ON GOV. YOUNGKIN’S VETO OF LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE MEDICAL DEBT RELIEF TO THOUSANDS OF VIRGINIANS
April 12th, 2022
Portsmouth, VA: Today, Nadarius Clark, Delegate for Virginia's 79th District which covers the localities of Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, spoke out against the Governor’s veto of HB 573 which would set a new statute of limitations for medical debt incurred against the Commonwealth.
Introduced by Delegate Clark during the 2022 General Assembly, HB 573 gained strong bipartisan support among General Assembly Democrats, Republicans, as well as multiple consumer protection agencies such as the Virginia Poverty Law Center and the Legal Aid Justice Center.
“HB 573 would have granted life-altering medical debt amnesty for thousands of Virginians. In practice this means that, after three years, families can’t be sued for any medical debt–debt they often had no choice in procuring. The statute of limitations would apply to hospitals, debt collection agencies, and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Delegate Clark said of the legislation.
HB 573 passed the House by a vote of 83-11 with 35 Republicans and every Democrat supporting the bill. In the Senate, HB 573 received a unanimous vote of 40 to 0.
Delegate Clark’s legislation is one of twenty five bills vetoed by Governor Youngkin — more bills vetoed in the first year of governor’s term in over twenty years. All twenty five bills were introduced by Democrats in either the House or the Senate chambers, and most received wide bipartisan support. The average bill vetoed by the governor passed the House by a vote of 83-17.
“We worked this piece of legislation through Republican leadership in both chambers and had several meaningful negotiations with the Attorney General’s office to ensure this bill satisfied the priorities of the Administration while still ensuring meaningful change for hard working Virginia families.”
“The veto today can only mean one thing: Gov. Youngkin is completely disconnected from working class people who will continue to suffer with insurmountable debt. He is being pushed and pulled around by the debt collection industry, the very people who stand to benefit when Virginians are struggling to get back on their feet in the face of a global pandemic.”