Parson’s vetoes withstand GOP Legislature’s override efforts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — All of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s vetoes will stand, despite efforts Wednesday by some lawmakers to force their priorities into law during a short session focused on vetoed bills.

Missouri’s GOP-led Legislature can reverse vetoes on bills and budget items with a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers, but lawmakers typically avoid voting to overturn vetoes made by a governor of the same party.

The House voted to override Parson’s vetoes on several spending items, including a raise for children’s social workers and $300,000 to fight crimes against children in Lincoln County. But the veto efforts didn’t get enough support in the Senate.

Work was delayed in the Senate for several hours amid esoteric Republican infighting over which lawmaker was responsible for leading the push to override another one of Parson’s budget vetoes.

At issue was $150,000 to refund some businesses for taxes they paid under a policy adopted during former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration.

Republican Sen. Mike Moon tried to override Parson’s veto, despite objections from the bill handler, but the move was initially shut down by GOP Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

Sen. Bob Onder said some fellow Republicans shied away from overriding Parson’s veto over concerns that the “governor’s tender feelings” would be hurt.

Republican Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, the No. 2 Senate lawmaker, described the blow-up as a “clown show” and “brazenly political” in the face of 2022 elections.

The Senate ultimately allowed a vote on the override “in an effort to try to appease children,” Rowden said. The effort to override Parson on the tax refunds failed 15-13.

“It’s clear we have a lot of people running for higher office in this building,” Rowden said.