Local lawmakers are gearing up for the veto session of the Missouri Legislature that begins Wednesday, Sept. 11.
State Reps. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair, and Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, as well as State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, are expected to join other lawmakers in attempting to override some of the governor’s vetoes.
Schatz told The Missourian Tuesday that he would like to see all 29 of the governor’s vetoes overridden, but he does not know how likely that is.
Second Amendment Bill
A controversial bill that may come up in the veto session is the Second Amendment Preservation Act.
The bill said federal laws that infringe on people’s rights to bear arms are null and void in Missouri. It also said that federal officials who attempt to infringe on law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms would be guilty of a misdemeanor.
But in a letter accompanying his veto, Nixon wrote that the bill violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. The supremacy clause gives precedence to the laws of a nation over individual states, the governor added.
Schatz said the issue over the supremacy clause would have to be decided by the courts.
Curtman also said he hopes the veto can be overridden. The Second Amendment says gun issues do not belong to the jurisdiction of the federal government, Curtman added. Gun laws should be kept closer to the people by falling under the jurisdiction of the state government, he said.
Hinson said he also supports overriding the governor’s veto of this bill. This bill is a way for the state to push back against the “overreaching” federal government, Hinson added.
Nieves, who could not be reached for comment, has previously said the governor is wrong when it comes to the supremacy clause.
Juvenile Sex Offenders
A bill dealing with sex offenders who commit their crimes as juveniles may also come up in the veto session.
Under the bill, sex offenders who commit their crimes as juveniles would not be put on public notification websites. Those already on the websites would be immediately removed as long as they had not violated terms of sentencing or committed any other type of sex crime, Hinson said.
The bill would also allow sex offenders who committed their crimes as juveniles to petition the court to be removed from a separate law enforcement registry after five years of being found guilty or being released from custody.
Hinson said the goal is to give people who commit sex crimes as children a second chance in life so they can get jobs and be productive citizens. He noted that convicted sex offenders have high unemployment rates and this bill could give them a chance to get off public welfare and get jobs.
Child advocacy groups support he bill, according to Hinson.
In his veto letter, Nixon stated that the bill would have reduced public safety and failed to protect victims’ rights. It would have required the removal of about 560 sex offenders currently listed on state and county sex offender websites, the governor’s letter adds.
Tax Cut Bill
One of the bigger bills that will come up in the veto session deals with a tax cut.
Schatz said he supports the bill because it is a staple of the Republican Party to reduce taxes.
Curtman said he believes the economy will grow if people are allowed to keep more of their money. He said he sees it as an economic development bill.
It is better to leave that money in the hands of businesses and individuals rather than giving it to the state or federal government, Schatz said.
Hinson said the governor’s reasons for vetoing the measure are wrong. The tax cut would be phased in over time in a responsible manner, Hinson said.
Moreover, Hinson said when people keep money in their pockets it comes back to the sate through increased sales taxes.
Cutting taxes is a great way to attract industry to the state, Schatz added.
Gov. Nixon said the bill would cost state government $800 million a year when fully implemented and jeopardize funding of education and public services.
But Schatz said that is not true. The last thing he wants to do is hurt the education system, he said.
The bill would reduce the maximum tax rate on personal income by 0.5 percent over 10 years. Once fully phased in, the maximum tax rate would be 5.5 percent for individuals.
But the reduction would only take effect if the state’s tax revenue grew by $100 million over any of the previous three fiscal years, the bill states.
The bill would also create an individual income tax reduction for business income and phase it in over five years. Once this deduction was fully phased in, it would allow a business owner to deduct 50 percent of business income after 2017.
It would also reduce the corporate income tax rate by 3 percent over 10 years. But this reduction could also only occur if the state tax revenue in a fiscal year exceeded that of any of the three previous years by $100 million.