House Republicans could attempt overrides of several vetoes by Governor Jay Nixon, but two issues are expected to be at the forefront of today’s veto session.
Republicans will have to start in the Senate to attempt an overturn of Senate Bill 749, to allow employers and individuals to opt out of insurance coverage for contraception, abortion and sterilization. House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City) says that veto will be tough to sustain.
“I think that if you look at the vote total, and if you look at the makeup of certain districts that some of our folks represent, I think that one is going to be the much tougher of the two to do.”
Talboy says Republicans will have a much harder time finding the votes to overturn the veto of HB 1329, to allow sales tax collections on vehicle purchases made out of state or from private Missourians.
“I know that there are some Democrats that, for their area, feel that it is vitally important. However unless you get to a 95, 96, 97-type area with the Republican votes, I don’t know that there are enough Democratic votes to even come close to anything there.”
A two-thirds majority, 109 votes, is necessary to overturn a veto in the House. When the bill passed in May it received 122 “yes” votes. 44 of those were from Democrats, but 16 Republicans voted against it.
Some lawmakers say enough Democrats might switch their vote to side with the Governor to fall short of the veto override. Or, they say Governor Nixon might have swayed enough lawmakers by saying more than 122 thousand Missourians will retroactively owe taxes on vehicle purchases made since March if the veto is overturned.
Talboy says the Governor’s office has been contacting members of his caucus. “As far as how many of them have had in-depth discussions, no I don’t know how many of those folks were there, but I know they’ve called me asking where I am and then kind of giving me the pitch on why they feel that it is important to veto and important to sustain the veto.”
The Kansas City Star reports one House Democrat was recently targeted in a mailer paid for by a nonprofit organization funded by the Democratic Governors Association, America Works USA, for supporting the bill in May. Representative Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis) and 19 Republicans were the subjects of mailers.
Talboy says that hasn’t been popular among House Democrats. “That has caused some consternation in our caucus … but as far as whether or not it’s going to make any difference moving forward on this bill, I don’t think anybody that got the mailer changed their mind based upon it.”