In the regular legislative session, bills pass through the House or the Senate by a simple majority; however, to override a governor’s veto, it takes a two-thirds majority of both chambers, or 109 votes in the House and 23 votes in the Senate. Approximately 19 pieces of legislation will be considered in the 2016 Veto Session, and this past week, members of the majority caucus were surveyed to see if there is the required number of votes to override.
Senate Bill 656, if overridden, is a bill that will allow an individual to carry a concealed firearm without a permit and without formal training. Presently, state law requires that a person who wishes to carry a concealed firearm must apply for a permit from the county sheriff and take a conceal carry training course. Supporters of the legislation maintain that the law simply permits law abiding citizens to carry a firearm, if they so choose. Supporters also maintain that this measure will help protect the fundamental right of self-defense for all Missourians, giving them the right to protect themselves and their families. This legislation overwhelmingly passed the Missouri House in regular session by 120 yes votes to 28 no votes with 14 absentees. I will vote for the override.
We will also be looking to override House Bill 1631, a bill that would require an individual to use a valid, government issued photo ID when voting in a public election in Missouri. If this law is enacted, the state will provide one free non-driver’s license to individuals who do not currently have appropriate forms of ID, and the state will pay the cost of the specified document. Those documents include birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, adoption certificate, name change court document, social security card and naturalization document, should it be necessary for an individual to obtain one in order to vote. If the veto of HB 1631 is overridden, all Missouri voters will have the opportunity at the polls to either approve or reject a constitutional amendment that would require the photo voter ID. The effective date of this bill will be June 1, 2017, if the constitutional amendment is passed in November.
House Bill 1733 has eight main bills included in it. Important to me personally is my bill dealing with leaving the scene of an accident when an individual is killed. The bill specifies that under the new criminal code the offense for leaving the scene will be a class C felony, if a death has occurred as a result of the accident. If the veto is overridden, HB 1733 will take effect in January of 2017. Though the Governor did not seem to have a problem with the “leaving the scene” part of the bill, there were several other provisions in HB 1733 he did not like. Consequently, the entire bill was vetoed.
I am the House sponsor of Senate Bill 641, a bill designed to exempt agricultural disaster payments from being recorded as taxable income on state tax returns. No other type of federal disaster payments are taxed as income, except agricultural disaster payments. I do not believe the state should be profiting from payments intended to help those who have suffered extensive losses due to conditions beyond their control. Even FEMA disaster aid is not considered taxable income. Unfortunately, both federal and Missouri agencies tax agricultural disaster payments as income at the present time. SB 641 seeks to eliminate state taxes on these payments. When a disaster occurs, there is really no way that this money will cover all losses incurred by affected individuals, nor is it intended to cover all their loses. The payments are only to be used as an aid in recovering from a natural disaster. We believe these payments are not income and should not be recorded as such.
The previously mentioned bills are just a sampling of the nineteen vetoed bills that we will re-visit as we move through this week’s Veto Session. I will update you as to what transpires.