House Meets in Sunday Session for Veterans

The House, as scheduled, met at 7 p.m. (Central Time) Sunday and heard a second reading on the floor of SJR222, then adjourned at 7:11 p.m. There was no vote and no action on any other legislation.
The resolution calls for amending the state Constitution to allow veterans organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to hold charitable gambling events for fundraising once a year, subject to the Legislature’s approval of each event. That’s the way things are now for many charities, but veterans organizations are chartered under a separate provision of federal non-profit laws and are excluded now.
The rules for amending the state constitution require that the amendatory resolution must be read aloud on the floor of both the House and Senate three times before a vote is taken.
That has already occured in the Senate, where the resolution received approval.
But the House didn’t get to the first reading until Friday. If the Legislature stuck to its usual schedule of beginning the week’s session on Monday, that would mean another meeting would be required Tuesday if the legislators were to get the required reading on three separate days.
House leaders decided instead to have an unusual Sunday meeting for the second reading. That clears the way for a third reading and final vote on Monday, when leaders hope the 107th General Assembly will adjourn permanently.
The resolution is sponsored in the House by Rep. Charles Curtiss, D-Sparta, and in the Senate by Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City.
The House vote board showed 89 members present for the closing roll call on the Sunday session.

Note: In conversation with members and staff, no one — including yours truly — can recall the Legislature ever previously meeting on a Sunday. There have been several Saturday meetings late in sessions and one memorable meeting on the July 4th holiday during the tax fights of more than a decade ago.

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