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To override, or not to override?
By Wayne Niederhauser
Today, Governor Gary Herbert vetoed 5 bills passed during the 2015 General Session (plus a few line-items we requested he veto in SB3). While we sometimes disagree with the executive branch, we respect the governor’s work, and the checks and balances of our constitutional system.The question before us now: Will the legislature override these vetoes?
The senate will move forward with the traditional veto override process as directed by the Utah Constitution. I will send a ballot to Utah’s 29 state senators, asking them to cast a vote for or against an override session. The Speaker of the House will poll his members as well. If two-thirds of each chamber vote to convene an override session, we will call the legislature back to the Capitol for that purpose. If they choose not to override, we’ll move directly into our interim work.
We plan to announce the results of the veto override poll on Thursday, April 16th.
If we elect to hold an override session, it will begin on or before Monday, May 11th, as per Article VII, Section 8 of the Utah Constitution.
Should we override? Add your thoughts to the conversation by commenting below, or contact your state senator to give them your feedback.
[Update, 4/17/15:] No veto override session this year. Here’s the official statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2015
NO VETO OVERRIDE SESSION IN 2015
SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah legislative leaders announced that they will not convene a veto override session in 2015. Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser issued the following joint statement:
“We respect the diligent, careful work of the 2015 Session and the sacrifices made by both legislators and staff. While we don’t agree with every veto, a poll of our members shows the House and Senate are ready to forgo the time and expense of a veto override session and move on to other business. We will work to resolve any residual disagreements and readdress them during the next legislative session.”
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The veto override process is governed by Article VII, Section 8 (4) of the Utah Constitution. Link: http://le.utah.gov/xcode/ArticleVII/Article_VII,_Section_8.html
“If the governor disapproves any bill or item of appropriation after the adjournment sine die of any session of the Legislature, the presiding officer of each house shall poll the members of that house on the matter of reconvening the Legislature. If two-thirds of the members of each house are in favor of reconvening, the Legislature shall be convened in a session that shall begin within 60 days after the adjournment of the session at which the disapproved bill or item of appropriation passed.
“This session may not exceed five calendar days and shall be convened at a time set jointly by the presiding officer of each house solely for the purpose of reconsidering the bill or item of appropriation disapproved.
“If upon reconsideration, the bill or item of appropriation again passes both houses of the Legislature by a yea and nay vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, the bill shall become law or the item of appropriation shall take effect on the original effective date of the law or item of appropriation.”
House Chief of Staff
Senate Chief of Staff