Missouri’s governor has vetoed three bills that easily passed the Legislature this year, all sponsored by lawmakers in his party. Governor Mike Parson (R) vetoed the bills on Friday morning, and outlined his concerns with them.
One involves legislation requiring Missouri’s Office of Child Advocate to create a safety reporting system for Children’s Division employees. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by State Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield).
In his veto letter, the governor says that provision is unnecessary, duplicates efforts of existing local multi-disciplinary teams and fails to strengthen protection for the children served by the Children’s Division. The Children’s Division is part of the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS).
The Missouri House approved House Bill 362 by a 154-1 vote in May. It will be up to Representative DeGroot to decide whether or not he will seek a veto override attempt in September.
Governor Parson has also vetoed an omnibus transportation bill that would have exempted St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties from motor vehicle emission inspections.
The bill from House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Becky Ruth (R-Festus) would have excluded those three eastern Missouri counties from the program. The three counties are near St. Louis.
“By exempting such noncompliant counties, Missouri would violate the federal Clean Air Act and would lose significant funding for certain highway projects and grants in the St. Louis area in the amount of $52 million annually,” Parson writes, in his veto letter.
The governor also says the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has already submitted a proposal to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting approval to remove Franklin and Jefferson counties from the program. Parson says that it’s still under review.
The Missouri House approved Ruth’s House Bill 661 in May, by a 130-22 vote. The Senate approved it 29-3.
The third bill vetoed by Governor Parson on Friday is House Bill 685, which involves running for public offices. The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Jason Chipman (R-Steelville).
In his veto message, the governor says the bill contains a section that allows a registered lobbyist who is seeking to hold, or who currently holds, a municipal or school district office to maintain his or her candidate committee for the office.
“I strongly disagree with this provision. Public officers should have the interests of the people they represent in mind, not those of the organization they have been hired to represent. This change would also only affect a few select individuals,” the governor writes, in his veto letter.
The Missouri Senate approved Representative Chipman’s bill 30-1, and the House approved it 146-1.
Missouri’s annual veto session will take place on September 15 in Jefferson City. That’s a Wednesday.
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