Governor Jay Nixon vetoed 18 pieces of legislation Monday, rejecting the repeal of a bingo tax, a payment exemption for renters in drastic circumstances and proposed changes to the public defender system.
Nixon also vetoed legislation that would have given lawmakers keys to the Capitol dome. House Bill 544 also included provisions to track federal stimulus money. In his veto letter, Nixon said that wasn't the reason he rejected the bill. He said the Missouri Accountability Portal was already codified by a different substitute. Nixon said he was not comfortable with approving keys to the Capitol because the provision could cause "potential harm to legislators, their constituents and our historic capitol building."
But Rep. Jason Smith, a sponsor of the legislation, wrote on his FACEBOOK page: "GOVERNOR NIXON VETOED my HB 544 today.....I guess he is not a strong advocate in allowing Missouri Citizens to watch how their tax dollars are being spent...the house passed this bill 143 to 10 and the senate passed it 33-0.....Come on NIXON!!!."
Nixon also vetoed potential changes to the public defender system, which would have allowed the state to hit up private attorneys to handle an overburdened caseload. "It is clear to me that that the problem is one of resources, not only for the Public Defender System, but all participants in the criminal justice system," Nixon wrote in his veto letter.
The bill was championed by Sen. Jack Goodman, and The News-Leader's Chad Livengood reports that Greene County prosecutor Darrell Moore lobbied for the veto. Moore and Goodman are Republican rivals in the 7th District race for Congress.
Read Nixon's last-day signatures and vetoes HERE.
ALSO: The Governor signed a large education bill that gives schools the option of a 4-day week, requires elementary students have at least 30 minutes of physical activity, creates a mentoring program for students and forces each public school to develop teaching standards by June 2010.