House overrides vetoes; clashes with Georgia Senate [UPDATED]

[UPDATE]: Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s office just released the following statement:

The Constitution clearly sets up the Senate as the deliberative chamber of the legislature, and we have an obligation to the voters who put their trust in us to act with care on all issues, but particularly constitutional matters. The Rules Committee will fully examine these votes by the House and recommend a course of action to the Senate.

“At this time, no schedule has been set for a floor vote, although that is also a matter to which we will devote some attention. The bottom line is that these bills have broad statutory and budgetary impact, and we need to fully weigh the perspectives of the Governor and the House prior to a floor vote,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.

The Lt. Governor’s office also stated that “The Constitution provides that veto overrides originating in one house “shall be immediately considered” by the other house. The Senate Rules set Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure as the authoritative source on procedural matters. According to Mason’s, “consideration” in the context of an executive veto can include an immediate vote, or the matter may be “returned to committee or laid on the table.”

In what seemed to be a resumption of the 2007 legislative session difficulties between House Speaker Glenn Richardson, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Gov. Sonny Perdue, the Georgia House over-rode 12 vetoes including House Bills 549, 229, 451, and 218.

On the votes on the overrides, there were only a handful of votes against with most Democrats and Republicans voting in favor. After each vote, the House immediately transmitted the veto messages to the Senate where Lt. Governor Cagle announced that it was the “intent” to put the veto overrides in the Senate Rules Committee. The Senate Majority Leader, Tommie Williams of Lyons, Georgia, then formally made the motion to send all of the veto overrides to the Rules Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Don Balfour.

This moved earned the consternation of Speaker Richardson who, after each vote, said the Senate was “required under their oath of office to immediately consider” the veto overrides.

When asked, State Sen. Balfour said he felt there was no need to rush to the vetoes.

“We’re going to look at them,” Balfour said. “We need to make sure we know what they are before we send them to the floor.”

When asked about the Georgia constitutional requirement that “If two-thirds of the members to which such house is entitled vote to override the veto of the Governor, the same shall be immediately transmitted to the other houses where it shall be immediately considered.”, Sen. Balfour said that by sending the veto overrides to the Rules Committee, the Senate did immediately consider the action taken by the House.

NOTE: Cross-posted at Georgia Legislative Watch

18 comments

  1. Painterman says:

    I disagree. This is legislation that both chambers have voted on and they should know what the legislation is. It should be an immediate vote to override or not. There is no need to drag this out.

  2. john.d says:

    Considering the context (legislation already voted on previously) the only “consideration” can be either to vote with or against the house.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    I am with Erick on the meaning of consideration as it applies to vetoed legislation. From a practical point, the Senate could just vote quickly and simply fail to override the veto, which would be less desirable than tabling the bill to the people who wanted it overridden. If people want the Constiution to say “immediate vote” amend it. I am all for an immediate vote, but there is nothing forcing them to do it.

    How quickly would people change sides in their arguments on this issue if it was a bill they hated instead of liked?

  4. Jace Walden says:

    Doug,

    It has nothing to do with the bills. The Senate obviously loved the bills or they wouldn’t have supported them overwhelminly just last year. Honestly, I haven’t clicked on a single link to those bills. I don’t even know what the titles of the bills are much less what they pertain to.

    The Senate believed in them strongly last year. Why the change of heart?

    This is nothing more than the Senate leadership playing the part of the lapdog to Governor Perdoofus.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    I haven’t even read one line of any of the bills. Their content is irrelevant.

    The fact is that in order for a bill to get a veto, it HAD to have already passed both houses.

    And, from what I read from Jason Pye and Jace Walden, none of these bills the House voted to override had any problem passing out of the Senate (i.e., the bills passed by a wide margin in the senate).

    SO, if you are a he-man senator like Johnson and Balfour always act like they are (insert “bombastic” in there as well), then you shouldn’t be thinking the Governor knows more than you…you should be exercising your proclaimed right to think independently of the Governor and vote to override bills your portion of this government ALREADY PASSED!

  6. Jason Pye says:

    [N]one of these bills the House voted to override had any problem passing out of the Senate (i.e., the bills passed by a wide margin in the senate).

    I provided the link to every piece of legislation that was overridden in my live blogging this morning. You can see it for yourself.

  7. Bill Simon says:

    And darned fine research for those links, Jason.

    I need to correct my statement: Most of these bills in the senate were passed by a margin of 50 to 3.

    “Yeah, Buddy..we dumbasses in the state senate gots to revisit them there bills….”

  8. bowersville says:

    Casey Cagle ” I have immediately considered my decision not to make a decision and that is my decision based on my consideration not to make a decision and ask for the rules committee to immediately consider my decision to not make a decision and to consider making a decision on my consideration of the decision.”

    Awful, but that is my consideration of the question of the Constitutionality of consideration.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    There is a reason why vetos are not automaticly based on the original vote. The Governor has a chance to give a reason for his veto, and circumstance can change from the time of the bill’s passage to the time for consideration of the veto override (11 months is a long time).

    If there is such an overwelming clamor to have them voted on immediately, then have the Senators vote to bring the matter to the floor. If you want to criticize the Senate for not bringing up vote immediately, fine. However, if you want to claim that the Senate is breaking the rules by delaying the vote, you are just trying to criticize Cagle because he is Cagle.

  10. Jace Walden says:

    “[Y]ou are just trying to criticize Cagle because he is Cagle.”

    No one is trying to criticize Cagle because he’s “Cagle”, Doug. Honestly, I wish I knew how you came up with that.

    We’re criticizing Cagle and the Senate Leadership not because of who they are, but because of what they are doing (Read: Playing Sonny Perdoofus’s Lapdog).

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Jace,

    I have no problem with you criticizing the decision to delay the vote. I think it should be dispatched with immediately as well, but you guys are claiming that they are breaking the rules by not voting on it.

    Of course it is dislike of Cagle and/or the Governor, this comment is not exactly logic filled reason:

    Read: Playing Sonny Perdoofus’s Lapdog).

  12. Jace Walden says:

    this comment is not exactly logic filled reason

    Doug,

    The only thing not “filled with reason” is the idea that just because some of us have the ability to call a spade a “spade”, we automatically dislike the person. I don’t dislike Cagle at all. Doesn’t mean I’m going to hang on every flimsy explanation he and the Senate leadership provide us though.

    I don’t think they’re necessarily “breaking the rules” either. I just think they’re playing the Governor’s lapdog. Nothing illegal about that, or nothing in the rules preventing it…just calling it how it is.

  13. Doug Deal says:

    Jace,

    You called Sonny Perdue “Perdoofus. It is a direct insult and has absolutely nothing to do with “calling a spade a spade”.

    I actually agree with you that they SHOULD vote on them immediately, but many have posted that what they are doing is unconstitutional, which clearly isn’t the case.

    This is a good example why people should take more care in writing rules and stop the practice of thinking it unimportant or boring. I used to be a parliamentarian in a political organization, and it is amazing how poorly most rules are written.

  14. Inside_Man says:

    If the Senate is indeed “breaking the rules” or they do so in the future by not voting on these, what should happen then? These two little constitutional crises in the last year do not bode well for our Government.

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Inside_Man,

    It is not the fault of the current Governor or the current Legislature for the crises; it’s the idiots who drafted the language in the Constitution. A couple of brief thought experiments could have revealed how poorly they were worded.

    Unfortunately, for the short term, you have to live with what you have Constitutionally.

Comments are closed.