More than 2,000 pieces of legislation were introduced during the 2016 Missouri legislative session and a mere 138 made it to the desk of Gov. Jay Nixon for signature or veto.
Of the 138, Nixon signed 111 of the pieces of legislation, 67 out of the House and 44 from the Senate.
There also were three bills that passed without his signature.
The governor also vetoed 25 bills, which will be challenged during the veto session that begins Sept. 14.
Twenty-two of the bills were outright full vetoes and two others were vetoed in part by the governor.
At least two of the vetoed bills that garnered statewide and even national attention have portions that were originally sponsored by legislators from this area.
State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, said he feels positive he and his fellow Republicans have the numbers to easily override many of the bills, but others will not be attempted due to the slim margins by which they were originally sent to the governor.
“Some of it will also depend on how obstructionist the Democrats want to be,” Alferman said. “Prior to Gov. Nixon, there had only been eight or nine veto overrides and it was an extraordinary thing. He doesn’t actually work with the Legislature and is the most overridden in state history.”
Alferman credits the huge majority of Republicans in the General Assembly as the main factor they have been so successful in imposing their will on the governor.
During the past legislative session that ended in May, there were 116 Republicans to just 46 Democrats and one independent in the House.
One of the most controversial bills that was vetoed, was HB 1631 sponsored by Alferman that would have required voters to show identification before being able to vote.
If lawmakers are successful in an override, the bill, which has a referendum clause, would then go to Missouri voters to decide its fate.
Since Hermann is in the heart of Missouri’s booming wine country, Alferman is also paying key attention to SB 994, which would have allowed the Missouri Wine and Grape Board to oversee and provide any professional or legal services on the distribution of wine to effectuate to the board’s marketing goals.
On the Senate side, the controversial SB 656, which would modify regulations pertaining to conceal carry permits, also had a provision allowing for lifetime permits sponsored by State Sen. Dave Schatz.
“If you look at the vote totals when it passed, we should have the numbers to do it,”Schatz said. “But, anything can happen.”
As with the House, Senate Republicans have a strong 24-8 majority and Schatz doesn’t seem to think anyone who voted for the bill originally will break ranks and not vote for the override.
But, it is an election year and this is a hot topic statewide.
“For the most part, this is a pretty core issue,” Schatz said. “Unless we lose somebody. Except maybe some of the senators that are statewide candidates for office, but there really isn’t anybody in jeopardy.”
He added the Senate has not met since the election, but will caucus soon to prepare for the veto session, November election and the next legislative session.
Another bill of interest for Schatz will be SB 641, which would create an income tax deduction for payments received as part of a program that compensates agricultural producers for losses from disaster emergency.
Last year, Nixon vetoed more than 20 bills and the Republican-dominated Legislature was successful in overriding 10 vetoes.