With the end of the legislative session in sight, some House Republicans are making preparations to allow themselves to come back to Nashville in the event that Gov. Bill Haslam overrides any other bills this year, according to The Tennessean.
“I feel like there’s a need for us to go ahead and go through the process of collecting signatures,” Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, told The Tennessean on Thursday.
…There are two ways lawmakers can return for a veto override session: They can either have two-thirds of the members of each chamber petition the speakers or wait for Haslam to call them back in.
Holt opted to take the more proactive approach.
“We’re trying to make preparations to let our leadership know that there is potentially a necessity for this reorganization, maybe 30 days after we adjourn,” he said.
While handing over a sheet of signatures to an assistant to the House clerk, Holt said he had already obtained the “magic number” required.
Holt said the collection of signatures has been a “team effort” that even included involvement from a portion of the chamber’s leadership.
Although Holt did not offer many specifics about which bills he thought could be potential veto candidates, he conceded that he was worried about Haslam vetoing the bill to defund the University of Tennessee’s diversity program and a measure to allow guns on campuses, which Holt sponsored.
…Holt said he was unsure whether anyone in the Senate was collecting signatures but added, “There is obvious tension regarding some of the legislation that’s been passed.”
Despite the House’s efforts, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey on Thursday said he did not see the need for a potential veto override session.
“I’ve spoken with the governor and everything, and I feel relatively comfortable where we are right now,” he said. “I don’t think that’s necessary.”
Ramsey said Haslam reassured him “several days ago” if there was anything on his mind that could potentially be vetoed the governor would give him an advanced warning.