Veto showdown at high-noon might just fizzle out

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By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

State legislators consider whether to override Governor Mike Parson’s vetoes during the annual veto session today in Jefferson City.

Rep. Shelia Solon of St. Joseph doesn’t expect any override attempts, which would be a new experience for her after serving as a Republican with Democrat Jay Nixon as governor.

“I think Gov. Nixon used to veto 30 or 40 bills,” Solon tells St. Joseph Post. “So, this is kind of new for me at least to not have a governor who’s vetoing a lot of bills.”

Perhaps the most controversial veto is that of the bill which would have repealed the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

St. Joseph Rep. Brenda Shields says the governor’s veto didn’t have a lot to do with that issue, but with technical problems the governor had with the legislation.

“You can’t just override a portion of the bill, you have to override the entire bill and even though the helmet law is important to many, it wouldn’t be enough to want to bring up that entire bill,” Shields tells St. Joseph Post.

Parson vetoed only six bills; four Senate bills and two House bills. The governor made no line-item vetoes to the state budget approved by the legislature.

This year’s annual veto session comes in the middle of the special session called by Gov. Parson to address a Missouri Supreme Court ruling which prohibits the use of multiple trade-ins to offset the sales tax owed on a vehicle purchase.

The official schedule might tip off the fact that legislative leaders don’t expect any real efforts mounted to override the governor. On the schedule, the special session is interrupted at noon today for the veto session. The schedule has the special session scheduled to resume at 1:30pm, an hour and a half later.

Solon acknowledges the veto is another frustrating loss for those who have fought for years to repeal state law which requires motorcycle riders wear helmets. She believes they might voice that frustration today, but nothing else.

“They come up. They’re passionate. They feel very strongly about it and every year we have a bill that doesn’t seem to get over the finish line,” according to Solon. “This is the furthest I’ve seen it go, but we’ll have to just wait and see what happens next session. I think passions are high on both sides of that issue.”

As with Solon and Shields, Rep. Bill Falkner doesn’t see any effort to overturn the veto.

“As far as motorcycle helmets, I look for that to probably come up again next session,” Falkner tells St. Joseph Post, saying he doesn’t see any attempt to override the governor’s veto, “but next year I look for motorcycle helmets to come up again.”