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Veto session possibility illustrates interesting conditions

I was waiting to post looking for updates on veto session information. At this time, both chambers still are a number of votes away from cancelling the session so I can’t wait any longer.

This attempted session has come closer to succeeding than any in the past, over 30 years, for several reasons:

  • Term limits, to some extent, free legislators from what they perceive to be electoral consequences of gubernatorial retribution since they will not be running for reelection – the consequences being the governor using her people appointed directly or otherwise on the State Bond Commission to excise projects of legislators who don’t vote for not having the session
  • Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s decision not to run for reelection, making her a lame duck and unable to extend retribution for not stopping the session past the Bond Commission deliberations – in other words, legislators may call her bluff, knowing that she gets no political capital out of denying projects as a response to their not voting to stop the session.
  • Two of the measures vetoed, HB 505 and SB 45, are extremely high profile and were voted against by 0 and 1, respectively, of the 144 legislators – meaning legislators believe overrides on these will be received favorably by voters back home.

    Whether these or any other vetoes would be overridden is another matter. With a third of the House membership voting against a session may mean there’s no chance for overrides working. Then again, maybe the opposition is in being called back in and once there they would be for overrides.

    (Note, however, that the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Boston would overlap at the beginning of the session which may bring about some reluctance to attend – and attendance is needed in order to get the two-thirds majorities to override. Still, probably least likely to vote for overrides would be the attendees of the Boston conference – almost all Democrats demonstrating once again that Democrats are the party of those who think elective office is a vehicle to reap goodies regardless of the taxpayer – so override attempts may be doomed from the start.)

    Regardless of what happens, what typically has been a perfunctory exercise instead has taken on meaning this year. The conditions that produced this are worth noting for the future.
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