Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican legislature have escalated a long-running fight over whether a handful of his vetoes are valid – a battle that could determine whether the Democrat is able to pull off his marquee campaign pledge to expand Medicaid before leaving office in January.

McAuliffe on Friday issued an executive order directing state agencies to recognize the state budget as he sees it – including five vetoes he made to various parts of the two-year spending plan.

One of those vetoes, issued a year ago, rejects language that the General Assembly had inserted to prevent him from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act without its permission.

Republicans said at the time that the governor lacked the power to strike that language, known as the “Stanley Amendment” for the legislator who authored it, state Sen. William M. Stanley Jr., R-Franklin. The House Clerk’s Office, which prints the final laws, ignored the veto, as it had when he vetoed similar language in the budget passed in 2014.

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McAuliffe, GOP lawmakers again battle over veto power, Medicaid – Daily Press