Haslam lobbying against override of Bible bill veto

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s urging legislators not to override his veto of a bill declaring the Holy Bible as Tennessee state book, perhaps with some success, reports The Tennessean.

“Obviously right now they have our reasoning and our logic for doing that. I strongly feel like that’s the right move for Tennessee and we’ll be passing that message on to members in the House and Senate,” Haslam said on Friday during an appearance at the grand opening of a new Beretta gun plant in Gallatin.

…Admitting this is the first time the General Assembly has received a veto from Haslam while lawmakers are still in session, the governor indicated that he’s heard from several members who have said although they voted in favor of the measure the first time, if given a second chance they would vote differently.

“I certainly don’t want to project how people’s votes will be,” he added.

…In 2015, the House passed the measure by a 55-38 margin — just five votes above the amount needed for passage. Earlier this month the Senate approved the bill with a 19-8 vote — two more than the necessary threshold.

While meeting with reporters on Friday, Haslam reiterated his rationale for the veto, saying, “I do think it trivializes the Bible.”

“I think there’s real constitutional concerns,” he added. “I think the reason that we’re honoring it for its historic and economic significance — the Holy Scripture is what it is. But I don’t think you should pretend it’s one thing so that you could honor probably for another reason.