Parson avoids veto overrides, sees House approve special session bills

Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday avoided the unusual fate of having vetoes overridden by a legislature controlled by his own party, as the Missouri House voted to override four of the governor’s vetoes but the Senate refused to take up votes on any of them.

Following the completion of the annual veto session, House members reconvened the special session that started Monday, approving one bill to change Missouri’s STEM education requirements and another to expand the state’s treatment courts.

Veto session

Parson is a Republican, and the GOP has veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. Nevertheless, the House voted to override four of the governor’s vetoes. All told, the vetoes dealt with less than $1 million of the state’s $28 billion budget.

The most contentious issue the House addressed was a veto of $154,000 to fund a statewide network for treating patients suffering from trauma, stroke and certain types of heart attack. The other three vetoes included:

  • $487,000 for juvenile advocacy in Kansas City and St. Louis
  • $100,000 for the Office of Child Advocate, an office responsible for enforcing child welfare laws
  • $45,000 for the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Parson worked behind the scenes to avoid the overrides, but some think animus stemming from the governor’s vetoes could extend into next year’s legislative session.

Special session

Parson got his way when the House approved the STEM and treatment court bills, for which the governor called the special session.

The STEM bill, which would seek to raise awareness about STEM careers and allow students to swap out one required math class in favor of a computer science class, has drawn support from local technology and business organizations and big tech companies outside the state.

The Senate is scheduled to hold hearings about both bills on Thursday and vote on them by Friday.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Kansas City Star

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