St. Louis Public Radio News
7:22 am
Tue September 8, 2009

Veto overrides not likely this year

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers return to the State Capitol next week for their annual veto session.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed several bills this year, most notably one that would have allowed motorcyclists age 21 and older to ride without helmets, except on interstates.

Tony Sheppard is with the group ABATE for Missouri, which wants the helmet law eliminated.
But he is not asking lawmakers to override Nixon's veto. He said an override would be politically imprudent.

"Governor Nixon's got a real good pull on the legislation, and if we go in there and try to override the veto, good luck getting any other motorcycle safety or any other bills passed through this next session," Sheppard said.

The bill would have lifted the helmet requirement for just five years, not permanently.

Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields said overrides are a rarity.

"They tend to be around issues, particularly Second Amendment rights or abortion issues, things of that sort," he said.

The last time lawmakers overrode vetoes was in 2003, when the legislature reversed three of Governor Bob Holden's vetoes. The issues at stake were concealed weapons and a waiting period for abortions.

This year's veto session is set for September 16th.