Each year, legislators return to the Capitol in mid-September for the General Assembly’s annual veto session. A September veto session is required by the Missouri Constitution to give lawmakers the chance to consider bills vetoed by the governor. By the end of the regular session in May, 32 Senate bills and 74 House bills were approved by the Legislature and sent to the governor; the governor vetoed four House bills and one Senate bill.
In order for the Senate and House to override a governor’s veto, the Legislature has to have a two-thirds majority vote during veto session. It is much more difficult to accomplish than the simple majority required to pass a bill. The last time a veto override was successful was in 2003, when we voted to overturn three vetoes, allowing Missourians to carry concealed weapons, barring lawsuits against gun manufacturing companies and requiring a waiting period for certain medical procedures related to abortions.
Measures vetoed by the governor that were up for consideration included:
- Senate Bill 777 – Allows for the sale of certain financial products and plans associated with certain loan transactions.
- House Bill 1831 – Allows school districts, after 10 years, to sell as surplus any real property that has been donated to it if the donor refuses the district’s offer to return it.
- House Bill 1741 – Changes the laws regarding a meeting of a board of directors or the executive committee of a corporation.
- House Bill 2317 – Requires each member of the General Assembly to be provided with a key to access the State Capitol dome and authorizes the governor to convey certain state property.
- House Bill 1903 – Creates the Federal Budget Stabilization Extension Fund and the Race to the Top Fund to receive moneys from any legislation enacted by the 111th United States Congress.
This time of year also gives us a chance to say goodbye to retiring members of the Missouri Senate. I am one of the 10 senators that cannot be re-elected to the Senate due to term limits. The Senate held a retirement ceremony in the chamber prior to veto session. It has been a pleasure to serve our state and the 32nd District. There are many people to thank for my success in the Missouri Senate — my personal staff, Senate staff, and my friends and family— but most importantly, I would like to thank the people in the district who gave me the opportunity to serve these past eight years.