Governor Jay Nixon (D) says it’s too late for the state senate to vote whether to overturn his veto of a bill to reduce the time unemployment benefits are available. Senate leaders disagree, and say they expect to attempt that overturn in September’s veto session.
The bill that would tie jobless benefits to Missouri’s unemployment rate. That would reduce the number of weeks benefits are available from 20 to as few as 13. The House voted for the overturn before the session ended.
The Senate sponsor of that bill, Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), thinks his chamber can still follow suit.
“We believe it’s still important, and as long as counsel tells us that it’s appropriate to do, then we’re going to try to move forward with it,” Kehoe told Missourinet.
It would be up to Kehoe to make the motion to attempt the overturn.
He says the bill is needed to keep Missouri from depleting its unemployment trust fund again, and having to borrow from the federal government.
“When you have to go back to the federal government to fill that trust fund bucket back up, it’s very expensive. The federal government not only charges you interest, but they charge fees,” said Kehoe.
An advisor to Senate President Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles), Todd Scott, told Missourinet there is no rule that specifically stops such an attempt.
“The typical rule of constitutional law would be that legislatures, unless specifically prohibited, are allowed to do what they deem wise in their own discretion,” Scott told Missourinet.
Given the Governor’s objection, the matter could have to be settled in court. Scott says there is no case that deals directly with the question, but says a case in Florida was similar. It would not be binding in Missouri, but he says it could be looked on for guidance.