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UPDATE: Nixon's veto upheld

Thursday, September 17, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — By a straight party-line vote, Missouri's House upheld the Democratic governor's veto of a measure to require the administration give legislators keys to the top of the Capitol.

The dome-key measure was the only veto for which even a motion was made at Wednesday's veto session.

The override motion failed 86-71, well short of the 109 votes need for a two-thirds majority to override a governor's veto.

The bill's original sponsor — state Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem — said it also contained more important financial oversight provisions that outweighed worries about issuing extra keys to the Capitol's dome area.

This bill would have required daily reporting of budget cuts, Smith said. Currently, the governor's office is required by law to report daily spending, but not cuts.

House Democratic Leader Paul LeVota, D-Jackson County, said information relating to budget cuts is already available to the public elsewhere.

"I'm not sure where you're going with this," LeVota said to Smith during debate.

A joint House-Senate committee to oversee the spending of stimulus funds would be created in another part of the bill. Rep. Jason Kander, D-Jackson County, said the committee would mimic work already done.

It's a "duplicate committee, just so four members of this body have something to do," Kander said.

The difference, Smith said, is the committee in his bill would have subpoena power, something the current committee does not.

Rep. John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, added that the current committee is a temporary one and only serves until the beginning of the next session. The proposed committee would have continued to exist until 2012.

The original sponsor of the dome-key provision — Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau — has vowed to attach the dome-key provision to every bill he can until he finds one Nixon will not veto.

Four of Nixon's vetoes were brought to the House floor, with three withdrawn after brief debate.

In the Senate, not a single motion for an override was made as the lieutenant governor read off the list of bills vetoed by the governor.


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