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No overrides during Mo. veto session

Mo. House members conduct business during the 2009 veto session.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Mo. House members conduct business during the 2009 veto session.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, MO – None of Governor Jay Nixon's vetoes were overridden today during the Missouri General Assembly's annual veto session.

Lawmakers in the Missouri House talked about several bills that didn't get past Governor Nixon, but only attempted to override one: A bill that would have created an oversight committee to examine the state's use of federal stimulus money.

State Representative Jason Smith (R, Salem) sponsored the motion.

"In this time, and in this state, people don't trust politicians...so that is why we need to have a more open, a more transparent, and a more accountable government," Smith said.

Democrats argued that accountability measures already exist. But the main objection was to a provision that would have given every lawmaker a key to the State Capitol Dome.

Smith debated the bill with House Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D, Independence).

"Do you oppose transparency in government spending?" Smith asked.

"No, I'm all for transparency, I'm very delighted," LeVota answered, before being interrupted by Smith: "Well then, you'll support this bill!"

"No," LeVota responded. "I support the measures that we passed that actually do what you're talking about...but the major provision that the governor vetoed was the dome key!"

Nixon had cited public safety concerns as his reason for vetoing the bill.

It had passed overwhelmingly during the regular session, 143 to 10, but today the votes fell along party lines, 86 to 71, well short of the two-thirds majority needed.

The Missouri Senate made no attempts to override any vetoes.