Friday, July 8, 2011

Nixon Vetoes Missouri Presidential Primary Bill, Primary Now Seemingly Non-Compliant

On Friday, July 8, Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed SB 282. The bill would have moved the Missouri presidential primary from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. Nixon agreed with that provision in the law but did not approve of the additional sections of the legislation. Among the issues the governor took with the bill was the fact that the bill stripped the governor of the power to make appointments to fill vacancies to US Senate and other statewide offices. This was something that was raised by a state representative back in early June and proved to be part of the ultimate downfall of the bill.

More problematic is the position in which this not only leaves Missouri, relative to the national parties' delegate selection rules, but what this will do to the overall presidential primary calendar. If Missouri is, indeed, locked into February 7 next year, it significantly affects what will happen in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Michigan (states looking to break in on the early presidential primary process) on the one hand, but obviously Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina as well. The only -- and it seems to be increasingly likely -- recourse is a special session where the presidential primary issue could be raised.


Anonymous said...

The bill passed pretty easily and Democrats didn't seem to have any heartburn as it passed nearly unanimously. Would there be a way for them to override the veto even if they are out of session? In my state, the legislature sets aside a day to come back after adjournment to deal with any vetoes.

Josh Putnam said...

In my haste to get this post out on the final day of my vacation, I glossed over this very important fact. Yes, a legislative override is a possibity. I don't know the procedure in Missouri (...yet), but I would suspect that the legislature has some ability to combat out-of-session vetoes. I'll check and append anything I find to this post.

Great point.