/Can Reeves keep no-veto-override streak of Bryant, Barbour alive

Can Reeves keep no-veto-override streak of Bryant, Barbour alive

Former governor After two terms, Haley Barbour resigned proudly declaring that none of his vetoes had been overridden. Gov. After his two terms of the same boast, Phil Bryant will be able to leave office in January. It will be interesting to see if Gov.-elect Tate Reeves keeps that streak of no-veto-override alive. Mississippi legislators used to play a lot of games with the governor by overriding his vetoes. Legislators prided themselves in flexing their political muscles by beating up on the governor. The required two-thirds majority was achieved to pass three of the most important bills of recent times, despite the governors’ vetoes. The 1987 Four-Lane Highway Program was hailed as one the most important economic development legislations of the past 50 year. It was overturned by the then-Gov. Bill Allain. The one-cent sales tax hike, which was intended to improve education, was approved by the Governor in 1992. Kirk Fordice. After legislators had returned for the year, Fordice vetoed Mississippi Adequate Education Program. This landmark legislation provided more state support for all school districts, with a focus on poor ones. He called a special session, where he suggested that legislators adopt a more affordable measure. Instead, Fordice was overruled by legislators during the special session of one day and they returned home. Musgrove might hold the record for having had the most vetoes overridden. Musgrove vetoed numerous budget bills in 2001. He claimed that the Legislature was appropriating money more than the state could collect, and that a new budget had to be created. In essence, he was vetoing state budget. The governor’s advice was ignored by the Legislature, who quickly overrode the budget bill’s vetoes. The bills were taken up in blocks by the House. Although the Senate gave him the benefit of taking up each bill individually, the results were identical. The Legislature was controlled by Democrats for much of the state’s history. They were, in essence, the true political power in the state. They were not afraid to override a Democratic governor. The Republicans had enough power by the time Barbour was elected in 2004 to make an impact on the Legislature. Republicans, who had struggled for power for so many years, were reluctant overriding a fellow Republican. It could be argued that the absence of veto overrides is a result of the rise of partisan politics within the state. It actually started at the end Musgrove’s term. Musgrove vetoed an important spending bill in 2003. He claimed that the Legislature couldn’t spend all of the state’s reserves funds. Barbour announced that he would be running against Musgrove at that point. Two years before, House Democrats had overridden his vetoes on bills funding state government. However, Musgrove refused to override them, despite the House leadership wanting it. The rank-and-file members realized they were also running for reelection and decided to run alongside the incumbent Democratic governor. They couldn’t afford to undermine his position by overriding him’s veto during the campaign. Barbour won the election and had more power in the legislative process than any governor, especially in the Senate. Bryant, who was a lieutenant governor and presided over the Senate during Barbour’s tenure as governor, must have learned from Barbour since he hasn’t had any vetoes overruled. Reeves is seen as more Barbour-like than Bryant in many ways. It remains to be seen if he will continue the trend of not having vetoes overridden. Reeves, a strong-willed politician, wants to control. Reeves will be succeeded as lieutenant governor in the absence of Delbert Hosemann, a former Secretary to State. They may not always share the same goals, and could clash, which could lead to possible veto fights. Hosemann did hint at Medicaid expansion but Reeves stated that he strongly opposes it. This could lead to a clash of the two. Reeves’ often sloppy governing style, which he was in lieutenant governor for eight years, did not always make him popular with House members. This could make him a prime candidate to veto override his first term as governor. Based on the history of the state, it seems likely that a governor will be given a resounding victory by the Legislature – Republican and Democrat.