Wednesday’s Missouri Senate Veto Session (Updated)

The dome of the State Capitol Building in Jefferson City | Photo by Nicole Lunger
Photo by Nicole Lunger

The state Senate moved more quickly than the House Wednesday to pass several vetoed bills. After an extended afternoon recess, the chamber quickly voted on two business-friendly bills sent over from the House.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of these bills has been overridden by both chambers:

  • HB 329 – Among other provisions, this allows payday loan companies to charge higher fees.
  • HB 339 – This bill blocks some uninsured motorists from suing for punitive damages. It was marked as a priority by statewide business groups.

Missouri Business Alert is now in the Senate to follow the debate on other business bills from the House.

Here are the Senate bills that have already been sent to the House:

  • SB 28: This bill redefines “misconduct” for which a fired employee can be barred from collecting unemployment benefits. While business groups support this change to the definition, they’d rather see a similar bill, HB 611, go forward because it contains additional provisions altering the unemployment insurance system.
  • SB 34: This bill would create a database of workers’ compensation claims that employers could search prior to hiring an individual.
  • SB 9: This bill would allow one percent foreign ownership of agricultural land.

7:25 p.m. – HB 436, the federal gun nullification bill being debated

A mostly empty Senate chamber discusses the bill that would ban enforcement of federal gun laws in Missouri.

8:20 p.m. – Attempted veto of gun bill override fails

Senate Democrats and Republican leadership voted against overriding Nixon’s veto of the bill, and the override effort died in a 22-12 vote after making it out of the house.

8:25 p.m. – HB 650, the Doe Run bill 

Discussion begins over this bill, which would limit punitive damages against a former lead mine located in St. Francois County to $2.5 million per lawsuit.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-Ste. Genevieve, talks at length about the bill, frequently referencing the “tree-huggers” among her constituents. She would not usually vote on the bill, she says, because of her philosophical beliefs.

But her conviction to support Missouri wins out in this case. “I am determined to support Missouri,” Chappelle-Nadal says. “I will always put Missouri first. Always.”

She continues, explaining why she will break with how she voted during the session and support an override of the Doe Run bill: “If we are taking away the business and revenue that’s generated and giving it to another country,” Chappelle-Nadal says, “that’s completely opposite of any business plan that I’ve ever seen.”

Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, follows Chappelle-Nadal. He supports the override with an eye toward keeping jobs in the state. “We have chance to save 1,600 jobs with a yes vote,” Brown says.

8:40 p.m. – Senate votes to override Doe Run bill 

In a 26-8 vote, the Senate overrides Nixon’s veto of HB 650. It’s the fifth successful override of the day.

8:45 p.m. – Recess

The Senate, finished voting on the last of the bills overridden by the House, will recess until 9:15. Attention turns back to the House, where SB 9, SB 28 and SB 34 will be among the legislation discussed.

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