Apparently, the governor decided to send a stronger message. Here on our desks after lunch we got a xeroxed letter listing eight more bills the governor vetoed. I'm sure he didn't like the idea of us chuckling. But perhaps really this isn't a problem he can solve with vetoes. Sometimes you just don't have the votes. Sometimes law makers just don't feel they can go home and justify to voters raising their taxes to increase budgets for roads when we are cutting schools and health and everything else.
So what do we do when the Governor vetoes something?
We have several options. 1) by a two thirds vote we can override and pass it anyway. 2) we can run the bill again, even quite quickly with a long series of "unanimous consent" requests. All the rules of the house and senate mean nothing in the face of a unanimous consent request. If no one objects, its done. If someone objects it takes a majority vote. If we run a new bill, even an appropriations bill, it can be done very quickly. It has to be slightly different. We may increase or decrease it by $100 and change the "intent language" which goes with it and directs how or when or conditions under which the money must be spent.
The governor says in his letter, "I tried to be diplomatic and respectful of the legislature ... yet it seems my efforts left many confused and questioning my resolve. So to eliminate any doubt about where I stand ... I am vetoing these appropriations here bills before me immediately." He says also that he will continue vetoing appropriations bills, "until an adequate transportation bill is approved by the legislature."
What adequate means is a frightening thought. I do think there comes a day when the public tires of this, when the $30,000 a day seems just as excessive as the huge registration fee increases and gas tax hikes, all after a session filled with millions of new state and federal dollars for roads.