JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Cole County Circuit Court judge sided with the General Assembly Tuesday, declaring that the veto override of HB 150, a bill which would put more strict limitations on unemployment benefits, should stand.
The AFL-CIO has fought the bill not only because of what it does, but because of how it passed.
In the last days of regular session, the House passed the bill by a wide margin, but it did not reach the Senate until veto session. Mike Louis, AFL-CIO president, and his lawyers argue that the Missouri constitution has rules in place which state that because the bill was not overridden by both houses of the legislature before the end of the regular session, then the veto override by the Senate four months after the House voted is unconstitutional.
“Regardless of the judge’s ruling, which is disappointing, we always knew this question would ultimately be decided in the Missouri Supreme Court,” Louis said in a statement.
“They are filing the appeal to take it to the Missouri Supreme Court, and it’s no surprise a circuit judge did not want to make a ruling to anything because it was a constitutional move,” he added later in a phone interview. “It was a just a procedural move to get it to the Supreme Court.”
Louis said lead attorney Jim Faul was already filing the appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. He finished his statement asking people to see the bill what the bill may do to the unemployed across the state.
“While the Courts and attorneys debate finer points of interpreting the Missouri Constitution, we must not forget this bill’s realities,” Louis said. “The Missouri Senate took an unprecedented, and we believe unconstitutional, step to deprive Missouri’s hard working families of modest, but invaluable, assistance in their times of need.”