Governor’s Weak Veto Power Will Get Even Weaker If Senate Speaker Has His Way

"I’ve talked about—this is just strictly talk—it should be normal when you adjourn sine die at the end of a two-year session to have a veto override session, just in case.  That’s not the governor, I don’t even know if he’s going to veto anything, but we used to do that years ago," Ramsey said. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

“I’ve talked about—this is just strictly talk—it should be normal when you adjourn sine die at the end of a two-year session to have a veto override session, just in case. That’s not the governor, I don’t even know if he’s going to veto anything, but we used to do that years ago,” Ramsey said. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey is looking to keep his options open, in case lawmakers want to override a veto from Governor Bill Haslam.  Ramsey wants to schedule a special veto override session, just in case.

The governor has ten days after a bill passes to decide to block it.  For one passed near the end of session, just before lawmakers leave town, a veto can be the end unless lawmakers return for an override vote.

Ramsey, the speaker of the state Senate, says he’s mentioned the idea to House Speaker Beth Harwell:

“Definitely needs to be thought about ahead of time.  I think it oughta be something you do every year.  So it doesn’t look personal.  So it doesn’t look like you’re mad—‘Well, I think he may veto it.’  Because I honestly don’t know of anything, but I think every year and I’ve talked to Beth about this, and we used to do this.”

One likely candidate could be a bill allowing guns in in any park across the state.  Another would delay a new statewide test that comes with the Common Core educational standards.

Haslam isn’t a fan of either proposal, but lawmakers can override him with a simple majority, so his veto’s power is all in the timing.

Scheduling a veto override session would make that power a lot weaker.

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