Parson pleased the budget override bid failed
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he is pleased that lawmakers upheld what he describes as a “fiscally responsible budget” and advanced bills dealing with drug treatment courts and high school computer science courses.
The Senate scuttled an attempt Wednesday by the House to override about $785,000 of line-item vetoes that Parson made to programs affecting hospitals, troubled youths and the deaf.
The House also passed legislation Wednesday expanding special treatment courts for drug offenders and others. And representatives passed a bill allowing computer science courses to count toward high school graduation credits in math, science or practical arts. Both of those bills are to be considered by the Senate later this week.
Parson called a special session after vetoing different versions of those bills earlier this year.
The Missouri House has passed a bill to allow high school computer science credits to count toward math, science or practical art credits needed for graduation.
House lawmakers voted 119-23 Wednesday in favor of the measure during a special session. The measure would also create an online course intended to boost career awareness for science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions.
Lawmakers passed a similar bill during their annual legislative session that ended in May. But Republican Gov. Mike Parson vetoed it, saying the bidding criteria appeared to apply to only one company.
He called lawmakers back for a special session to give them an opportunity to address the issue.
A bill to expand drug treatment courts has passed the Missouri House.
The Republican-led House voted 141-1 in favor of the measure Wednesday during a special session.
Lawmakers passed a wide-ranging bill with a similar provision during their annual legislative session that ended in May. But Republican Gov. Mike Parson vetoed it, saying it appeared to unconstitutionally address a variety of other issues.
Parson called the special session to give lawmakers a chance to pass a narrower version of the bill.
The legislation that advanced Wednesday would allow circuit courts to establish drug treatment courts or other more specialized divisions that deal with issues such as drunken driving.
The measure now heads to the Senate for approval.
An attempt to override several line-item budget vetoes made by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has failed in the state Legislature.
The House voted Wednesday to override four vetoed budget items totaling about $785,000 for services affecting hospitals, youths and te deaf. But the Senate declined to vote on the measures, effectively killing the veto override attempts.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Brown said he had assurances from Parson’s administration that $487,000 vetoed for juvenile public defenders and $100,000 vetoed for the Office of Child Advocate could be restored as supplemental budget items when lawmakers return for their regular session in January.
Brown said $154,000 vetoed for a hospital certification program and $45,000 for the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was not necessary because services can be provided through existing budgets.
The Missouri Senate has a new member, and the House has one fewer.
Democrat Lauren Arthur was sworn into office Wednesday as a senator after winning a June special election. She had represented a Kansas City area House district since 2015.
Arthur defeated Republican state Rep. Kevin Corlew in the Senate special election to flip control of a seat that had previously been held by Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey.
Silvey resigned at the start of the year to accept an appointment to the Missouri Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.
Arthur’s addition means Republicans now have a 23-10 advantage over Senate Democrats, with one vacancy.
Her subtraction from the House leaves Republicans with a 111-45 majority over Democrats, with seven vacancies.
The Missouri House has voted to override Gov. Mike Parson’s vetoes of about $785,000 of budgeted expenditures for services benefiting hospitals, youth and the deaf.
The votes Wednesday marked the first step in the process of overriding vetoes. The Senate also would need to approve the veto overrides by a two-thirds vote for them to be accomplished.
Parson made 21 line-item vetoes totaling more than $12 million when he enacted the state’s $28.6 billion bdget for the fiscal year that started July 1. The House voted to override four of those, including funding for a hospital certification program and public defenders for juveniles.
It’s somewhat unusual for a Republican-led legislature to override vetoes of a Republican governor. But House budget leaders said the programs at issue are important.