Another Successful Veto Session
As most veto sessions are, this last week’s veto session in Jefferson City was an active one. In all, the General Assembly overturned the governor’s veto on 10 of the 15 pieces of legislation. Veto session gives legislators a final opportunity to enact legislation into law despite the governor’s objections. In both chambers, a two-thirds vote is required to override a veto. In the House that amounts to 109 votes. Twenty-three votes are needed in the Senate to successfully complete an override motion. Once again, our governor has vetoed a large number of bills, therefore sending us a large number of bills to consider to override.
The Legislature voted to overturn the governor’s veto of the unemployment law. House Bill 150 will change the maximum length of state unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks, when the state unemployment rate drops below 6 percent. The unemployment rate must now reach 9 percent for workers to receive 20 weeks of benefits.
There is debate about the constitutionality of this override since this bill was overridden in the House during the regular session last spring and some say it should have been voted on then by the Senate. It very well may be headed to the courts for their final ruling. The Senate's vote was 24-8.
Over in the House the governor’s veto of Right-to-Work was upheld. The measure received 96 of the 109 votes needed. The measure did not come before the Senate because it failed to be overridden in the House. Had the veto been successful, the law would have given workers the option of joining a union instead of making union membership a condition of employment. Overall this measure would have given choices to the workforce and been a positive economic development recruitment tool for the state.
Under the provisions of Senate Bill 224, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to be eligible to receive scholarship money from the A+ Schools Program. It passed the Senate by a vote of 25-8 and the House vote of 114-37.
I appreciate hearing from many constituents in regards to the legislation that was vetoed by the governor and voted on during veto session. I took those thoughts into consideration as I determined how to vote and how to best represent the 21st District. The veto session concludes all action the Legislature is expected to take for the rest of 2015. The General Assembly will convene on January 6, 2016, for the next legislative session.
As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (866) 277-0882 (toll-free) or (573) 751-2272, or by fax at (573) 526-7381.
Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.