COLUMBIA — On Wednesday, the Missouri General Assembly will have the chance to override any of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's 29 vetoes from the legislative session.
How the veto session will work
Here is previous coverage of three bills that are expected to be debated when Missouri legislators meet Wednesday. The links require a Missourian digital membership.
House Bill 253
UM System to divvy up state funding, if tax-cut veto is upheld (Missourian, Aug. 30)
Missouri attorney general: Tax-cut bill could mean retroactive refunds (Missourian, Aug. 29)
Missouri, Texas governors spar over tax cut (AP, Aug. 29)
National tax cut battle turns intense in Missouri (AP, Aug. 27)
Unions: Thousands of Missouri teachers would lose jobs under tax-cut bill (Missourian, Aug. 27)
Columbia City Council shies away from statement on tax cut (Missourian, Aug. 19)
UM President Tim Wolfe urges GOP to reconsider tax-cut bill (Missourian, Aug. 15)
At MU, Gov. Nixon criticizes tax-cut bill's effect on higher education (Missourian, July 31)
Nixon's budget freeze to hit UM System core funding, appropriations (Missourian, June 28)
House Bill 436
Missouri gun bill would thwart law enforcement efforts, attorney general says (Missourian, Sept. 3)
Democrats to aid Republicans on Missouri gun bill (AP, July 26)
House Bill 301
Changes to Missouri sex offender registry could cost state thousands in federal funding (Missourian, Aug. 28)
Missouri could consider juvenile sex offender measure (AP, Aug. 18)
Nixon vetoes sex offender measure, OKs crime bill (AP, July 3)
Both chambers of the General Assembly will begin at noon. Each will take up bills originating in that particular legislative body. There will be 10 bills in the House and 19 bills in the Senate. Three line-item vetoes of appropriations will also be looked at.
If the bill's sponsor makes a motion to override, the chamber will debate it and vote. In both chambers, a two-thirds vote is necessary to pass an override and send it to the other chamber for consideration.
It will take 109 votes in the House and 23 votes in the Senate to pass an override. There are 109 Republican members in the House and 24 in the Senate.
Bills likely to be debated
The 29 bills vetoed by the governor range from tax credits for low-income seniors to succession rules for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Three bills have emerged as likely candidates for a showdown:
- Tax-cut bill (House Bill 253): This bill would cut income tax rates for individuals and corporations by a half-percent over at least 10 years. (Original votes: House, 103 to 51; Senate, 24 to 9)
- Gun-rights bill (House Bill 436): This bill would nullify federal gun laws in conflict with Missourians' Second Amendment rights and lower the age to apply for a concealed-carry permit. (Original votes: House, 116 to 38; Senate, 26 to 6)
- Change to the sex-offender registry (House Bill 301): This bill would remove from the sex-offender registry certain individuals who committed offenses as minors. (Original votes: House, 150 to 0; Senate, 28 to 4)
The Boone County delegation
On the tax-cut bill: Boone County legislators voted along party lines when this bill came up during the last legislative session.
Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, was absent from the original vote but said that he opposes the bill and that he and the other Democrats are likely to vote against any attempt to override the governor's veto.
Kelly has called the bill "a disgrace to the legislature" and has commented publicly on what he says are its "fatal flaws."
Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said he remains undecided but will know for certain when he "hits the button on Sept. 11." Rowden, who has been targeted by a lobbying effort from University of Missouri System leaders, said his vote will be "highly scrutinized."
On the gun-rights bill: Kelly and Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, were both absent for the original vote but said they were strongly opposed to the bill and would vote against an override.
Kelly called House Bill 436 "one of the most ridiculous bills of my 17 years in office."
"The words of the bill say it wants to nullify federal law," he said.
John Wright, D-Rocheport, voted against the bill originally and said he plans to oppose an override.
Rowden, who supported the bill originally, said he has concerns about the impact it could have on law enforcement efforts but remains undecided about a veto override.
On the sex-offender registry bill: All Boone County legislators present for the original vote supported the bill, but some say they have changed their minds.
Webber said he planned to vote against an override, citing the governor's case against it. Webber said the governor raised "legitimate concerns" when explaining his veto.
Wright also said he will support the governor's veto.
"By the end of the session, some of the (bill's) better provisions were added to other bills and passed," he said.
He said the registry should be revisited, suggesting that perhaps the courts should be given more discretion over who should be on the registry.
Kelly said he would vote to override the veto.
"The registry is in terrible shape and impossible to enforce," he said, "so we have to clean it up."
Rowden said that the governor "raised legitimate concerns" but that he had not decided how he would vote Wednesday.
Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and Republican Rep. Caleb Jones, who represents a portion of southern Boone County, did not respond to calls.
Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.