As mandated by the Missouri Constitution, the General Assembly will meet September 13 to consider bills that were passed by the House and Senate but vetoed by the governor. The annual Veto Session gives legislators a final opportunity to enact their ideas into law despite the governor’s objections. In both chambers, a two-thirds vote is required to override a veto. In the House that amounts to 109 votes. Twenty-three votes are needed in the Senate to successfully complete an override motion.
Heading into Wednesday it appears unlikely that the legislature will add to the veto override total as the new governor and the current General Assembly have worked together on most of the issues addressed in 2017.
In the final moments of the 2017 legislative session House members approved a bill that would have created the Senior Services Protection Fund to preserve several services for the elderly and disabled. The move represented a last-ditch effort by the House to preserve nursing home and in-home care services for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens.
In the days leading up to the conclusion of the session, House and Senate members had worked to find a solution that would keep the vital services intact. The House had passed a version of the bill that would end the renter’s portion of the senior citizens property tax credit in order to generate funds that would be used to protect the existing level of service. The Senate countered by passing a version of the bill that would raise the funds by “sweeping” the unexpended monies from several state funds associated with regulatory boards and commissions.
The House initially rejected the Senate’s plan and sought a conference where lead negotiators could work on a compromise. The House Budget Chairman was concerned that the Senate solution involved one-time dollars and would not represent a long-term funding source. He also raised concerns about the constitutionality of the Senate’s language. However, with the Senate being unwilling to negotiate and the need to preserve the services vital, the House opted to take the Senate plan as time ran out.
The governor then took action to veto the bill calling it a “one-time gimmick” that drained funds from programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, assist injured workers, and to train police officers and firefighters. “I put money in the budget to protect the most vulnerable Missourians. The House did their job. The Senate failed. This was a clearly unconstitutional, last-minute budget gimmick. I won't sign an unconstitutional, one-time, fake fix to a real problem,” said Governor Greitens.
HB 850 was approved by the General Assembly to change the law regarding military complaints against a commanding officer in the National Guard. Under current law, a member of the National Guard may file a complaint against his or her commanding officer with the governor or the Adjutant General. The bill approved by the legislature would have limited the filing of a complaint to the Adjutant General.
The governor vetoed the bill with the belief that the Missouri National Guard’s Commander-in-Chief should remain engaged in assisting guardsmen.
The General Assembly passed HCR 19 to authorize the issuance of public bonds for half of the financing of a new conservatory building at UMKC. The legislation would have allowed the issuance of $48 million in state bonds over 10 years for the $96 million project.
The governor vetoed the bill saying it was too costly to taxpayers. The governor said it was wrong that the bill would fall on Missouri families to pay.