AP’S 5 Things to know About the Veto Session
September 13, 2013

Here are five things to know from Missouri’s veto session:


The Republican-controlled Legislature overrode 10 of the Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s 33 vetoes. The resulting new laws restrict lawsuits, allow elected officials to vote during meetings by videoconference, and increase the maximum punishment for stealing livestock. They also will replace the state’s ban on foreign ownership of farmland with a 1 percent cap while requiring state approval, prevent officials from barring celebration of federal holidays, and increase the allowed maximum fee for installment loans. Also overridden were a budget item, a bill dealing with foster parents and a measure designed to safeguard county budgets from some clerical errors. However, vetoes were sustained for bills that sought to cut taxes; nullify some federal gun laws; require that public employees give annual consent before union dues are collected; broaden what constitutes misconduct for unemployment benefits; bar policies infringing property rights that are traceable to a United Nations resolution; and preventing use of foreign law “repugnant” or “inconsistent” with the Missouri or U.S. constitutions.


Missouri law states that the nine overridden non-budget bills will take effect in 30 days. The 10th override was of Nixon’s veto of a $1 million budget item to help rebuild the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center that was damaged by fire, which was part of the 2014 budget that took effect this past July. However, the governor’s budget director says Nixon is freezing the money, so the money still may not be spent on the project.


Several overrides were decided by a single vote. Five overridden bills reached the bare minimum in either the House or Senate, including a bill to shield volunteer health care providers from lawsuits. It took the House two tries after its initial vote was one short of the mandatory 109 votes. The second go-round reached the minimum mark. Veto overrides were one short in the Senate for legislation dealing with guns and unions. The House was one shy on the bill dealing with foreign laws.


Nixon became the most overridden governor in recent Missouri history. Since Missouri began requiring a two-thirds majority for veto overrides in 1875, the previous single-year high mark was three overrides set in 2003. Missouri’s highest mark for veto overrides came in 1833, when a simple majority was required and legislators overrode a dozen vetoes of bills granting divorces.


Republican legislative leaders fell short on the two bills with the most profile: a tax cut and a gun bill. After the tax cut fell well short of a two-thirds majority in the House, Speaker Tim Jones called it a “temporary setback” and was joined by the state’s largest business associations in vowing to try a new tax-cut in 2014. House Majority Leader John Diehl said the outcome was specific to that legislation and that “there are 109 members who support an income tax cut.” On guns, Republican Sen. Brian Nieves said “this fight ain’t over.” Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey voted against overriding the gun veto because of concerns about constitutionality and how it would affect local police and prosecutors, but he said he would help fast track a gun-rights bill next year.

Torpey & Jones Looking for ‘Non-Experts’ to Join Medicaid Panel
June 23, 2013

Post Dispatch:
JEFFERSON CITY • Want to help reshape Missouri’s Medicaid program? House Speaker Tim Jones wants to hear from you.

Jones, R-Eureka, is seeking nominations of people to serve as “citizen members” of a new working group that will gather data and analyze ways to overhaul the health care program for the poor.

Names of possible members can be sent to the speaker at tim.jones@house.mo.gov, or to the working group’s chairman, Rep. Noel Torpey, at noel.torpey@house.mo.gov.

No qualifications were set. In a news release, Jones said he is looking for “private citizens from all walks of life to engage in a productive discussion meant to generate ideas to transform Missouri’s broken Medicaid system into one that capably serves the state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Said Torpey: “It’d be kinda nice to have someone who isn’t an expert” to help with the study.
More: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/virginia-young/house-leader-seeks-non-legislators-to-serve-on-medicaid-study/article_1594ec55-e891-5525-b087-b1480c22bb3e.html