JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon held his final press conference before a veto session Wednesday afternoon, and he urged lawmakers to look carefully at the bills he has vetoed since the end of the 2016 session.
He asked reporters, legislators, and Missouri citizens alike to read his website’s veto letters to communicate why he believes the bills as written are bad policy for the state of Missouri.
“These are well-crafted and well-researched messages that present, in very specific terms, the legal and policy reasons why those bills have been vetoed,” Nixon said. Between the House and Senate, up to 21 bills could come up for discussion next Wednesday during the veto session.
Among those bills are a controversial gun bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, that would allow citizens that fail current background checks to obtain concealed carry licenses and eliminate training for such a permit altogether.
“Ultimately, the state will be less safe,” Nixon said.
Another bill that has received considerable attention is Rep. Justin Alferman’s, R-Hermann, photo voter ID bill, which Nixon believes will make it “harder for people that are poor or disabled to vote.”
Alferman and the majority state that the bill will reassert confidence in the state’s election system when election problems have plagued St. Louis City and County in recent months.
However, Nixon mostly focused on some of the quieter bills that he worries will pass through veto session. He highlighted three in particular: Rep. Denny Hoskins’ HB 1870 that would eliminate the requirement of the E-Verify program to keep companies using illegal labor to earn government contracts, Rep. Charlie Davis’ HB 1733 that would allow automated long-haul trucks on some of Missouri’s highways, and Sen. David Sater’s SB 867 that would raise fees at license offices.
Nixon said wedge issues “should not be used as a smokescreen by legislators to hide from the questions of their constituents.”