September 21, 2014

Gov. Nixon vetoes bill to allow sale of alcohol in State Capitol, historic penitentiary

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has vetoed a bill that would allow alcohol to be sold at events in the State Capitol and the historic Missouri State Penitentiary.

Governor Jay Nixon says events in the State Capitol should not include the selling of alcohol.  (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Governor Jay Nixon says events in the State Capitol should not include the selling of alcohol. (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Supporters said the bill would allow the Missouri Capitol Commission to include alcohol sales at celebrations of the laying of the cornerstone of the capitol and the state’s Bicentennial, and would help generate revenue for the restoration and maintenance of the Capitol. Other events held at the retired State Penitentiary would further the effort to draw tourism to the prison and Jefferson City.

Nixon says he disapproves of the bill because he wants children and families to continue to be comfortable visiting the Capitol.

“They do not come to see the sale of liquor by the drink,” writes Nixon. “Moreover, they introduction of alcohol sales in the Capitol is particularly troubling because the bill does not restrict sales in the presence of minors, nor does it limit sales to certain hours of operation.”

Nixon continues, “The additional revenues for Capitol restoration and maintenance that proponents assert would result from House Bill No. 1359 becoming law are outweighed by the message it sends to children and families. We should not sell alcohol in the Capitol.”

The bill cleared both the House and the Senate with enough votes to overturn a veto, if such an attempt is made in September’s veto session and if enough lawmakers vote the same way.