"A veto, Latin for ‘I forbid’, is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation." – Wikipedia
The governor has issued seven vetoes to date, a high number. As of this writing, the only three the legislature has addressed thus far have been overridden, also rather unusual. A veto override requires a "super majority" of two thirds, twice the number voting for the override as voting against the override. Legislatures usually override fewer than half of a governor’s vetoes. I believe that we will be close to overriding all of them.
The following vetoes have been overridden at this point: HB 109 which prohibits residential fire sprinklers being required for new construction, HB 133 which ties the minimum wage to the federal law, and HB 329 which requires parental notification before abortions can be performed on minors. All three are now law.
The other four vetoes will be addressed in the fall. They are:
HB 218 – Directs the NH Rail Transit Authority to form a committee to create a cost-benefit analysis for developing a commuter rail system. The original law directed the RTA to develop a plan for such a system. Many in the legislature are concerned that money would be spent developing a plan that would not consider how much the state would need to subsidize such a system on an ongoing basis. A cost-benefit study would likely answer that question and is definitely in order.
HB 474 – Requires that unions be "open shop" types rather than "agency shop" types. The open shop type of union could not force non-members to pay a fee for union services the workers may or may not want. Workers would be able to exercise freedom of association with regard to whether or not they want to be represented by a union without paying a "tribute" to the union in the form of fees.
SB 3 – Makes comprehensive changes to the state retirement system. Although the governor has vetoed this bill, virtually its entire content has been amended to the 2012-2013 budget which the governor has allowed to become law without his signature.
SB 129 – Requires presenting photo identification to vote at the polls. There have been two primary objections to this bill. First is that there has been no election fraud in this state. How do we know? There has been no way to track it. Most people find it reasonable to require that voters prove who they are in order to procure a ballot. We do the same thing all the time for many other activities. The second objection is that it will present a hardship, especially on the elderly and the infirm, to obtain a free non-driver ID with a picture. This law does not become effective until 2014. That leaves 2˝ years before the requirement takes effect. If such persons can make it to the polls, they can certainly make it to a local DMV to obtain a free picture ID within that amount of time.
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