A More Engaged Nixon? (No)

Last week AP’s David Lieb wrote about the supermajorities in the state legislatures in which Speaker Tim Jones is quoted, “The governor will need to understand the importance of true, actual negotiation during the legislative process.”


This has been a common complaint, not just among Republican leadership, but among bill sponsors, and lobbyists.


During session they craft a compromise while the second floor sits on its hands in silence.  Then in June, the governor issues vetoes to their dismay.  I have heard several times from angry lawmakers – if the governor had made his objections known, they’d have worked to implement an accommodation.


Now, Jones imagines, the governor will engage early otherwise the Republicans will just override his veto with their supermajority.


I think an equally likely outcome is that governor changes nothing about his behavior.  His administration has been most interested in avoiding any damaging situations.  The practice of not getting involved in legislation keeps his hands clean.  Then he can make surgical and calculated vetoes.  I think that will remain.


The only thing that changes is the veto calculations.