Thursday, April 02, 2009

"Enough is enough."

Legislators Challenge Governor's Veto Power


Ben Philpott
KUT Radio
Copyright 2009

DALLAS, TX -Because Texas lawmakers pass the majority of their bill during the final days of the legislative session, the session is over before the governor vetoes legislation. Houston Republican Gary Elkins says that means lawmakers have no chance for an override.

Elkins: "I just want to bring the power back to the people we represent. The Constitution gives us the right to override governor vetoes. But as a practical matter, we're never here and never get the opportunity."

Elkins' Constitutional amendment would allow lawmakers to request a veto override, and with a majority of their colleagues in agreement, lawmakers would get called back to Austin.

Will Lutz edits the Lone Star Report, a conservative political newsletter. He says the bill is a response to what some lawmakers view as an excessive amount of vetoes by Governor Perry.

Lutz: "The governor has vetoed local bills over larger policy disputes - over things like the Trans-Texas Corridor. He's vetoed things that even Republican legislators got a lot of grief from their constituents over like a property rights bill that protected people from eminent domain. And I think the legislators in the House have decided enough is enough."

This is the second time around for this amendment. It passed the House last year and fell flat in the Senate. A companion bill there this time around is still waiting for a committee hearing.

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