June 20, 2012
Gov. Nixon vetoes HB 1900; says legislative process lacked transparency, accountability to the public
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed House Bill 1900, saying that the legislative process used in passing this bill violated constitutional requirements that ensure openness and transparency.
In his veto message, Gov. Nixon specifically stated that House Bill 1900 violated constitutional mandates which ensure that the public can understand the specific purpose of a bill and participate in the legislative process. These requirements limit the scope of a bill to its original purpose and to a single subject that is clearly expressed in its title.
As introduced, House Bill 1900 was housekeeping legislation entitled "for the sole purpose of restructuring statutes based on executive branch reorganizations." Despite the narrow purpose contained in its title, House Bill 1900 was expanded in the final days of the legislative session to include such unrelated subjects as service dogs, municipal annexation, divestment from Iran, tax increment financing, unemployment benefits, disabled parking, a 911 sales tax, and home health care workers.
"The manifest disregard for openness and transparency in furtherance of this legislation has revealed House Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 1900 for what it is, a sanctuary for orphaned ideas in search of safe transport to becoming law," Gov Nixon said in his written veto message. "But it cannot be. And while my action today will unfortunately preclude the enactment of certain important provisions contained in this bill, it will preserve the constitutional safeguards for accountability in the legislative process."
Read Gov. Nixon's full veto message here.