JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Lawmakers are back in Jefferson City Wednesday to meet their constitutional requirement of a veto session.
After adjourning in May, Governor Mike Parson vetoed a large public safety bill; one of the provisions within the legislation was Blair’s Law, criminalizing celebratory gunfire. However, Parson says that’s not why he rejected the bill.
Instead, it was other provisions like expanding qualifications and the amount of money for restitution for people whose convictions were overturned. In the budget, Parson removed 200 line items totaling half a billion dollars, like 28 million to improve a section of I-44.
While many people believe it is unlikely that the governor’s vetoes will be overridden, some believe that some GOP members will use Wednesday’s session to request a chance to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution.
“There is nothing they can do during veto session on it; it has to be a special session; the governor has to call it, but they are taking the opportunity, the stage of veto session, in order to yell at the governor about calling a special session to take away voting rights for Missourians,” Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo said.
“I think when you look at for the public perspective, we just passed one of the largest bills in the state of Missouri on the budget there with $53 billion,” Gov. Parson shared. “I think it’s kind of rough to come back here and say I want to spend more money. I think that’s just the opposite; I think that’s why we vetoed, trying to save money for years to come, because if we continue to spend money like we did last year, we’ll be out of money in this state in a year or two, and I don’t think any of us want that. We just need to be smart about it.”
In order for the general assembly to override a veto, it takes two-thirds of the legislative body in both chambers –
Gov. Parson says he sees no reason to call a special session this year. After Wednesday, lawmakers won’t be back until the legislative session starts in January.