Friday, May 11, 2007

The accidental veto.

So, you're Sonny. You accidentally veto the budget. So what do you do? You un-veto it! Problem solved.

Except for the fact that you don't have the power to un-veto. Doh!

I have to admit that I am mystified by the governor’s sleight-of-hand with respect to his rescission of the veto.

Under what authority may the Governor “un-veto” a bill? The governor vetoed the legislation on April 19. There is no question that he vetoed the bill.

Article 3, Section 5, Paragraph 13, and Article 5, Section 2, Paragraph 4, of the Georgia Constitution outline the procedures for a veto. The latter section succinctly states that the “governor may veto, approve or take no action on any such bill or resolution.”

Nowhere in either section (or anywhere else I can find) does it say the governor can “un-veto” a bill. The former section explains the procedures that are to be followed once a veto is made, and none of those procedures include an option for the governor to “take it back.”

Moreover, the impropriety of the “un-veto” is shown by how it has no parameters in the Constitution or statute.

When is the latest he can un-veto? Can he do it while the Legislature is trying to override the veto? Afterwards? Two years later?