Veto Session Roundup: Lawmakers fail to override gun rights bill veto; sponsor withdraws sex offender registry bill

Editor's note: The following are reports updated throughout the day of action in the Missouri Legislature's current veto session.

We will be tweeting action from the Capitol today. You can get updates by following @NewsTribune or @NTedit; we'll be using a hashtag of #moleg.

10:03 p.m. update

Lawmakers vote to override Nixon on Mo. farm bill

Missouri lawmakers have voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an agriculture measure.

SB9 includes changes to Missouri's animal abuse and neglect law and a longer maximum prison sentence for stealing livestock. It also would replace a prohibition on foreign ownership of farmland with a 1 percent cap.

Nixon had objected to the provisions on foreign ownership and animal abuse and neglect.

The Senate voted 23-10 on Wednesday to override the veto. Later, the House voted 111-50 to override.

Proponents of the bill contend changes to the animal abuse and neglect law are needed and that tougher punishment for stealing livestock could help combat cattle rustling.

Lawmakers override veto on lead lawsuit bill

A Missouri lead mining company has won a shield against large legal judgments as a result of a veto override by state lawmakers.

Legislators on Wednesday overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of HB650, intended to benefit The Doe Run Co.

At issue are numerous liability lawsuits pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October alleging that lead contamination caused health problems for children. Doe Run says a costly court judgment could drive it out of business.

The bill would bar punitive damages related to mining sites that ceased operating before 1975, so long as the owners are making "good faith efforts to remediate such sites." If not, then punitive damages would be capped at $2.5 million.

The House vote was 110-50. The Senate vote was 26-8.

Posted earlier (8:34 p.m.)

Lawmakers fail to override veto of gun bill

Missouri lawmakers have failed to override a veto of a bill nullifying some federal gun control laws, after falling a single vote short in the Senate.

Senators voted 22-12 for the veto override Wednesday night, just shy of the required two-thirds majority. The override attempt had passed the House 109-49.

The legislation declared that any federal policies that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms" shall be invalid in Missouri. It would allow state misdemeanor charges to be brought against federal authorities who attempt to enforce those laws or against anyone who publishes the identity of a gun owner.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the bill could violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of free speech and its supremacy clause that gives precedence to federal laws over conflicting state ones.

Posted earlier (7:45 p.m.)

House backs veto override on lead lawsuit bill

Missouri House members have voted to override the governor's veto of a bill shielding a lead mining company from large legal bills.

The House voted 110-50 Wednesday for HB650, benefiting The Doe Run Co. It still needs a two-thirds majority in the Senate to become law.

At issue are numerous liability lawsuits pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October alleging that lead contamination caused health problems for children. Officials at Doe Run say a costly court judgment could drive the company out of business.

The bill would bar punitive damages related to mining sites that ceased operating before 1975, so long as the owners are making "good faith efforts to remediate such sites." If not, then punitive damages would be capped at $2.5 million.

Posted earlier (7:03 p.m.):

Lawmakers vote to override Mo. gov on holidays

Missouri lawmakers have voted to override a veto of legislation barring public entities from putting the kibosh on celebrations of federal holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

House members supported the override by a 114-45 vote Wednesday. Later, the Senate voted for the override 24-9.

Supporters say the HB278 is aimed at protecting traditional celebrations of Christmas and Thanksgiving, which they claim are being secularized in some schools.

But Gov. Jay Nixon said the measure also could prevent officials from enforcing fireworks ordinances and create staffing shortages by potentially allowing state workers to demand time off to celebrate federal holidays.

Lawmakers vote to override on Mo. lending measure

The Missouri Legislature has voted to override the governor's veto of a bill permitting lenders to charge higher fees on certain short-term loans.

The legislation would increase the maximum fee from 5 percent to 10 percent on installment loans, which generally run for at least four months. Lenders still would not be allowed to charge more than $75.

The House voted 109-51 Wednesday for the veto override of HB329 — just barely meeting the required two-thirds majority. The Senate followed suit on a vote of 25-9.

Gov. Jay Nixon said in his veto message that the higher fees could be used by firms that typically offer payday loans.

The bill also expands options for people saving money for pre-paid funerals.

Lawmakers override on uninsured motorists

Missouri lawmakers have approved a veto override of legislation restricting lawsuits by uninsured motorists.

The House approved the override of HB339 Wednesday on a 109-51 vote, the bare minimum needed for a two-thirds majority. The bill achieved the mark only after Republican leaders held the voting board open for several minutes while persuading several undecided members.

The margin was wider in the Senate, where the override passed 26-8.

Under the legislation, drivers lacking insurance would forfeit the ability to collect noneconomic damages from insured drivers. The restriction would not apply if insured drivers involved in accidents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Supporters say the legislation prevents those without insurance from driving up costs for the system. Opponents note that there already are penalties for driving without insurance.

Lawmakers override school repair veto

Missouri lawmakers have voted to override a line-item budget veto of $1 million to help rebuild a vocational education school in northeast Missouri.

The House’s 112-47 vote on HB19 was the first taken Wednesday as lawmakers considered 33 vetoes by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Senators then approved the override 28-5.

At issue is money targeted for the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, which was damaged by a fire. Although the school had insurance, bill supporters said it was not enough to outfit the building with computers and make it accessible to people with disabilities.

Nixon said he vetoed the bill because of the source of the money. He said lawmakers want to pay for the repairs from a fund dedicated for the state school funding formula.

Posted earlier:

House votes to override Nixon's veto of 'nullification' gun bill

By a 109-49 vote, with three abstentions, the Missouri House late this afternoon voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that supporters said defends Missourians' rights to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

Opponents said the bill would nullify the enforcement of federal gun laws in the state, a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

Posted earlier ...

Sponsor withdraws sex offender registry bill

Rep. Kevin Engler R-Farmington, withdrew his motion for the override of House Bill 301. The bill would have modified sex offender laws, allowing some on the Offender Registry to be removed for crimes they committed as teenagers.

He said many lawmakers aren't comfortable with the language of the bill, so it would be beneficial modifying it and bringing it back in 2014.

Posted earlier ....

Senate votes to override 'foreign laws' veto

With the bare minimum needed, Missouri senators voted 23-10 to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill preventing Missouri courts from considering the laws of other countries, if those laws are repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the Missouri and U.S. Constitutions.

Sponsor Brian Nieves, R-Washington, said the bill has been mischaracterized regularly as applying to Islamic "Sharia Law," when his research found problems caused by European laws.

But Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, countered: "A blind man could see that this is about Sharia law. ... This is an attack on Islam and Muslims throughout America."

Sens. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and Scott Sifton, D-Affton, both worried the law could create problems for American companies trying to do business with other governments and foreign-based companies.

And several lawmakers agreed with Nixon's concerns that passing the measure into law could create problems for Americans wanting to adopt children from other countries.

The House last spring passed the bill 109-41 — the bare minimum needed now to override the veto.

Posted earlier ...

House fails to override HB 253 veto

A Republican push to cut Missouri’s income taxes failed Wednesday when the state House fell significantly short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The vote marked a major victory for the Democratic governor, who had warned that the tax cut could jeopardize funding for public education, mental health care and other state services.

The House voted 94-67 to override Nixon’s veto. But that fell significantly short of the 109 votes needed for a two-thirds majority. As a result, the override never was considered by the Senate.

Local legislators were split over the override attempt.

Rep. Jay Barnes and Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, both R-Jefferson City, voted yes on the override. Rep. Jeannie Riddle, R-Mokane, was also among the supporters.

Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, spoke out as a firm "No" on the override shortly before the vote was taken.

"Regardless of the philosophy no one can defend the workmanship of this legislation," Kelly said. "It is a disgrace to Missouri."

The Associated Press contributed to this post.

Posted earlier ...

The Senate voted 24-6 to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would prohibit the state and local governments from implementing policies affecting property rights, based on the United Nations' 1992 sustainability program known as "Agenda 21."

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the measure as being unnecessary and too much of a burden on local governments.

Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, said one of the reasons he sponsored the bill was because a councilman from Ballwin, in St. Louis County, who said they had a problem with a public project because of the policy.

Supporters of the governor's veto argued the U.N. policy isn't mandatory and doesn't have to be followed.

Last spring, the House passed it 118-37 — nine votes more than are needed for an override.

Posted earlier ...

House debate on HB 253 centers around effects on education

The debate on House Bill 253 continues in the House.

While a few representatives have touted the bill as paramount for Missouri businesses and creating jobs in Missouri, many opposed to the bill worry it will have a negative impact on education.

Rep. Margo McNeil, D-Florissant, worries about the increased taxes on college textbooks.

"Tax on textbooks for a student, particulary one taking a full course load, could amount to $200 a semester," she said. "That's a lot of money — $200-400 a year added to the cost of tuition."

Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis, said the state needs to better fund education before taking away funds, which she believes this tax bill would do.

"My thing is first, before we start eliminating money, is that I believe we need to shore up our schools across the state," May said. "I think it's important we don't take from that system in order to give tax breaks."


Senate, joins House, in overriding line-item veto

The Senate joined the House in overriding Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a line-item in House Bill 19, the capital improvements budget bill.

The governor vetoed a $1 million appropriation for the reconstruction of the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, which now will be restored to the budget — but could be withheld by the governor.

The Senate vote was 28-5. The House vote was 112-47.


A sampling of #moleg tweets

In the House ...

Columbia Missourian reporter @CeliaAmpel tweets: Galleries full. About 1/4 of people are in @WeAreGrowMo shirts. #HB253 discussion getting fiery.

and Ampel tweets later: Applause throughout gallery for Rep. Haefner, who spoke in favor of #HB253, said #MOleg needs to stand up for job-makers.

In the Senate ...

@MOSenMajority tweets:Senate takes up SB 34 - Requires the Division of Workers' Compensation to develop and maintain a workers' compensation claims database

Columbia Missourian reporter ‏@JusticeGGreen tweets: #moSen gives standing ovation to "outstanding Missourian" chamber guest who fought in Kuwait

and Green tweets later ... SB 34 Workers Compensation database has been overridden in the senate #mosen


'Paycheck protection' bill falls short of veto override

After taking no vote on six bills, the Missouri Senate spent about 35 minutes debating the "paycheck protection" bill and then fell one vote short of overriding Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

The vote was 22-11, with one Republican — Sen. Wayne Wallingford, Cape Girardeau — voting against the override. Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, was absent for the vote.

The bill would have required members of public employee unions to approve any use of their dues for political or lobbying purposes.

Nixon said the bill was unnecessary.

Meanwhile, the House has begun efforts to override Nixon’s veto of HB 253.


Thirty minutes into the Missouri veto session, Twitter accounts are rife with posts ....

NT reporter Olivia Ingle ‏@Olivia_Ingle posts from the House ... Lots of Grow Missouri reps in the #moleg House gallery today. The coalition supports the override of #HB253

Rep. Caleb Rowden ‏@calebrowden44 posts from the House ... The first motion to override one of Gov. Nixon's vetoes comes from Democrat Chris Kelly. And veto session begins. #MOLeg

House Speaker Tim Jones ‏@SpeakerTimJones posts ....My brave friend & colleague, DEM Rep Kelly, rises to override @GovJayNixon for taking money away from education. As @GovJayNixon has for yrs

Columbia Missourian reporter Celia Ampel ‏@CeliaAmpel tweets .... Line-item veto of funds for vocational school in Pike County overridden.

Columbia Missourian reporter Justice Green ‏@JusticeGGreen tweets ... Moment of silence held in #mosenate for Sept. 11th victims. @PeterKinder added remorse for those killed in #benghazi as well


The Missouri veto session has officially begun.

Twenty-nine bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon still have a chance of becoming law in Missouri.

The News Tribune has a reporter following legislation in the House and in the Senate.

Each bill will start in its respective house, and the Missouri Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the total seats in each chamber to override Nixon's veto. If overridden in one chamber, a bill moves to the next.

The News Tribune is following three key bills:

• HB 253 — Reduces income tax rates over period of years and makes other tax changes. HOUSE — 103-51. SENATE — 24-9.

• HB 301 — Modifies sex offender laws, including allowing some on the Offender Registry to be removed for crimes committed as teenagers. HOUSE — 150-0. SENATE — 28-4.

• HB 436 — Some call this the 'nullification' law. It modifies state firearms laws, including rejecting all federal acts that infringe on a Missouri citizens' rights under the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. HOUSE — 116-38. SENATE — 26-6.


In the House

Ten minutes before the start of the veto session, the House gallery is already filling up. There's a handful of representatives on the Chamber floor.

In the Senate ...

At 11:55 — five minutes before veto session is to begin — the Senate chamber is quiet.

Only three senators have come into the chamber, so far, and only one Senate staffer is here.

And six reporters have gathered, so far.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook ...

We will be tweeting action from the Capitol today. You can get updates by following @NewsTribune or @NTedit; we'll be using a hashtag of #moleg.

File created at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.


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