Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Veto Session Preview

An initial Veto Cheat Sheet is up in the Special Reports section.  Find it here.

It’s an excel file that lists every bill that was truly agreed and finally passed.  One sheet has the signed bills, and the other has the vetoed bills.

For vetoed bills the spreadsheet has a link to the bill summary and the veto letter.  It has a listing of those who testified in favor in committee, and also known opponents.  It breaks down how the Republicasn and Democrats split on the final vote for both the House and the Senate, as well as special column devoted to Jason Smith, as his vote is no longer there for the GOP.

Keep in Mind

The House Is Where the Action Is

The veto override battles will take place almost entirely in the House.  Of the 29 vetoes, there’s only one – HB 611 – which didn’t have an override majority in the Senate when it was passed.  And there were three Republican and three Democrat senators absent from that vote, so they’d have the votes there in September if they need them.

But Vetoes Are Rare

House Minority Communication Director Marc Powers, in a memo to Democratic legislators and their assistants, reviewed a history of veto sessions.  It shows how infrequent overrides are.

“During Nixon’s first four years in office, the Republican-controlled General Assembly overrode the Democratic governor twice, on a congressional redistricting bill in 2011 and on a 2012 bill allowing employers and insurance companies to refuse to provide coverage for contraception under employee health benefit plans.

“Gov. John Dalton, a Democrat, set the single-session veto record in 1961 when he rejected 35 bills. The legislature didn’t override any of those vetoes. More recently, Gov. Bob Holden, also a Democrat, vetoed 30 bills from the 2003 regular session, plus two more from a subsequent special session for a total of 32 vetoes that year. Lawmakers overrode him on three bills, all from the regular session…

“Prior to this year, the last time one party held veto-proof majorities in both chambers was in 1981 and 1982, when Democrats controlled the legislature and Republican Kit Bond was governor. Lawmakers overrode none of Bond’s 11 vetoes from those two years.

“Although there have been 24 veto overrides in state history, 16 occurred from 1820 through 1855, when only simple majorities in both legislative chambers were required. For the next 120 years, from 1856 through 1975, there were no overrides. There have been eight overrides since 1976, including five since 2003 when Republicans began their current run in control of both legislative chambers.”

Watching Conservative Democrats

On several bills, conservatives House Dems, particularly ones who are running for the Senate in 2014 (I’m thinking of Reps. Jeff Roorda and Ed Schieffer), are caught in a tight spot. They’re not going to what to be on the record against guns, or Christmas, but they also are not going to want to risk angering Governor Jay Nixon who could help them in their races.  One observer says he wouldn’t be surprised if these legislators are “unable” to make it to Veto Session…

No Override

Here are bills which lacked a veto override majority in the House when final vote occurred during session were:

HB 110 – makes LG vacancy filled by election rather than appointment.  No Dems voted for this and four Republicans (Reps. Higdon, Hurst, Marshall and Schieber) against.

HB 339 – uninsured motorists forfeiting tort rights.  11 Republicans voted against this during session.

HB 650 – Changes to DNR.  Only 94 votes in the House. 

SB28 – unemployment benefits.  Seven Republicans voted against, and no Dem crossovers.

SB 29 – Paycheck protection was lucky to even get passed at 85 votes.  No override.

SB 34 – workers compensation – same problem as SB 29, only passed with 91 votes in the House.

SB 51 – Could increase fees at license offices.  Only 79 Republicans voted for it during session.  Not a lot of desire for this one.

SB 60 & SB 73 – These bills are duplicative of other bills.  No override.

Override Unlikely

Some bills had override majorities in during session, but one would expect that Dems stand behind their governor, and those override numbers melt away.   One common theme among the Nixon veto letters and press conferences has been that the legislature was sloppy.  Pointing to previously unknown provisions or unintended consequences in legislation will give reps a reason to switch their votes. 

HB 329 – Sex offender law changes.  Former AG Nixon says changes too broad.  Too hot of a subject for veto override.

HB 611 – Changes to unemployment compensation.  Business groups say a failure to adopt this bill will risk hundreds of millions of federal dollars.  The governor’s office say enacting the law will have the same impact.  Only one Republican voted against (Rep. Nick Marshall), and 35 Dems voted in favor.  But Dems voted for it not realizing that some language from SB 28 was added to it.  They’ll be switching back now – and possibly a few pro-labor Republicans as well.

SB 9 & SB 342 – These were the agricultural bills that allowed for minimal foreign ownership of farm land.  Both had Republicans voting against, so assuming that Dems support their governor, they won’t be overridden.

SB 43 – An omnibus transportation bill from which the Governor picked out a small provision about a naming to veto.   The name change involves a history of race in Missouri. One observer thinks an override would appear “racist” and doubts that Republicans want to flex their muscle on such a bill.

SB 129 – Sets requirements for medical personnel to volunteer. Passed with 115 votes, just too close to the margin by the time the Democrats (12 of them) are peeled away by the governor’s veto pen.

SB 224 – Crime bill.  Although passed with 133 votes, one wonders whether Republicans want to the news story for one of their few overrides to be that the governor thought they were being too light on crime.

SB 240 – This is the gas ISRS.  I wrote about its uphill override challenges yesterday.

Ones to Watch

These had no Republicans defectors during session and some crossover Democratic support.  The guess is that Dems come home to support their governor, but if Republicans can keep everyone in line – no sickness etc keeping people away – these are ones where an override can happen.  Probably one or two, unlikely if there are more.

HB 287 – Celebrating holidays.  Nixon didn’t like that there was no exemption for public safety, says it would hurt municipalities’ ability to regulate fireworks for example on Fourth of July.

HB 436 – Guns.  12 Dems voted for it.  And only Republican Rep. Jay Barnes voted against.

HB 1035 – This had all Republicans voting in favor along with 42 Dems.  But the governor’s veto letter may cause serious reservations to sprout on both sides of the aisle as he declares that this bill would allow something akin to annexation without representation.  We’ll see.

SB 77 – Sen. John Lamping’s bill would exempt Girls Inc from some regulations.  Nixon says it’s bad public policy to play favorites and exempt one specific organization.  Only 4 votes against in the House (two Republicans and two Democrats), seems like a ripe target for an override.

SB 110 – Child custody bill.  Had 48 Dems voting for it, along with every Republican.  Governor says it’s poorly crafted.  We’ll see whether the legislature agrees.

SB 170 – This is Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s bill which would allow school board members (and other government bodies) to vote by video conferencing.  It seems like an honest disagreement between the governor and the legislature whether this is a good idea.   Passed House overwhelming, 142-8 with 13 absent.

SB 265 (Agenda 21) and SB 267 (Foreign laws) – Both these bills were derided by the left as nonsensical right-wing paranoid legislating.  But they both passed with unanimous Republican support and a handful of Dems (Reps. Linda Black, Mike Frame, Ben Harris, Roorda and Schieffer, among others).  So you never know.

And Of Course HB 253

HB 253 – the Tax cut bill – I think the odds of an override on this are long. Especially given Rep. Nate Walker’s vocal opposition (and other Republicans private reservations with the prescription tax bungle), but with Rex Sinquefield plunking down over $2 million, it’s in play.  Also interesting to note that Rep. Jeff Grisamore was absent on this vote.  One imagines he mightn’t be enthusiastic about this.

$5K+Contributions

Stand Up  Missouri - $5,875 from Security Group Inc.

Schupp for Senate - $10,497 from Jill Schupp.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 Zachary Brunnert and David McCracken added The Doe Run Company.

Michael R Gibbons added Pasco Inc, and deleted Site Advancement Foundation.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to the great Tom Krewson (52), former Reps. Darrell Pollock (52), and Bob Quinn (57).