State lawmakers that backed two big agriculture bills in the regular session believe they will have enough votes to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) vetoes of those bills.
Nixon vetoed the legislation because it would remove control of captive deer in private hunting operations from the Department of Conservation and put it under the control of the Department of Agriculture. Nixon says that would “clearly” violate the state Constitution.
Dairy industry backers are among the biggest proponents of the veto override because those bills contain provisions to subsidize federal margin insurance and to provide scholarships to the study of dairy production at a Missouri college. It would also direct the University of Missouri to annually study of the state’s dairy industry and create a plan for growing it.
Missouri Dairy Association President Larry Purdom says those provisions will help keep dairy producers in Missouri and keep dairy prices in the state low.
“I have gone to Springfield’s sale barn for the last three years and witnessed my neighbors with tears in their eyes selling their cows because they could not pay their feed bills,” Purdom told reporters Thursday. “It’s pretty hard to live through that not think that they deserve better than they have had since 2009.”
According to the Association Missouri had 1,890 dairies in 2004 and that number is down to 1,233.
The bills passed the Senate with enough support for a veto overturn but were short of the 109 needed in the House, receiving tallies of 101 and 105 “ayes.” Representative Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) says the votes for an override will be there when lawmakers take up those measures during the veto session September 10.
“I’ve been working on this since July with my colleagues,” says Guernsey.
He says he expects to pick up some votes from lawmakers that were absent when the House initially passed the bills and others from lawmakers who originally voted against them.