I didn’t even have to read the name of the legislator who requested these two opinions to know who it was:
In one, Cuccinelli, who lost to McAuliffe in the 2013 governor’s race, says a governor can’t order state officials to permit legally married gay couples to file joint Virginia tax returns because the state bans same-sex marriage and formal recognition of it.
The other asserts that a governor lacks authority to “issue a policy directive to suspend a regulation that was properly adopted pursuant to a statutory mandate.” It appears to target intended protections for gay state employees and efforts to invalidate strict licensing rules for abortion clinics.
Yeah – the tag team of Bob Marshall and Ken Cuccinelli had one more go at it. The article says both opinions – 13-114 and 13-109, both available here – were issued this month. No doubt in anticipation of 13-114, issued last Friday, Marshall submitted HB444.
I always watch very closely the tax conformity bills that wind through the legislature each session. Typically, these bills are handled with little fanfare, rolling forward the date that Virginia’s tax law conforms to federal law. This year is going to be interesting since federal law now recognizes all marriages. The Virginia Department of Taxation issued Tax Bulletin 13-13 last November, saying that the Commonwealth will decouple from federal law on this provision. I’m not sure that Tax has that authority, so I’m expecting that this years conformity legislation – as yet unfiled – will make it clear.
One thing is certain, though: the last four years of the Cuccinelli/Marshall tag team is over.