Governor Haley’s Veto Pen

Today, House members received the first veto message from Governor Haley. The question is “what will the House do” (when we vote next week)?

For those outside the State House, a bill must pass both bodies (House and Senate) in identical form before going to the the Governor’s desk for final approval..or not.

The Governor then has a few days to either (a) sign the bill into law (b) veto the bill; or (c) let the bill become with without her signature. If the Governor vetos a bill, it takes 2/3 of House and Senate members – WHO VOTE ON THE VETO – to override the veto to become law. I capitalize “who vote on the veto” because in this particular instance the custom of both bodies is to defer to the local delegation and let them determine what they want to do.

As you can see from Governor Haley’s veto message , apparently this practice (or “tradition”) could be construed as supporting an unconstitutional measure.

I’m not a constitutional scholar (and with the exception of a very few in the State House, few of us are); but apparently the unconstitutionality comes in the form of the state legislative branch passing LOCAL legislation instead of STATEWIDE legislation.

So now the question becomes, will the House override the veto (as has been practice for many years) or will we listen to our Governor and her message and sustain the veto?

I’ll go on record as saying I’ve “stayed out of local matters” except for one time when I voted on a matter that the Spartanburg Delegation was working on (changing the name of the technical college in Spartanburg). I quickly learned “you don’t do that” (I was the only one to sustain the Govenor’s veto and I believe the only one outside of Spartanburg area that voted on the matter). Ever since then, I’ve done what everyone else does on local matters. Last year there was a heated matter in one county and in a rare display, several House members (outside the local county) voted on the veto to have their voice heard. Who knows, maybe they should have? Maybe we aren’t supposed to be doing local bills afterall?

With that being said, I plan to sustain this veto and hope most of the members will also.