Harwell, Ramsey would be surprised by any more vetoes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The speakers of the Tennessee House and Senate say they don’t expect any more vetoes from fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Sen. Ron Ramsey and Rep. Beth Harwell told reporters on Thursday that they hadn’t heard any indication from the governor that he might reject any more bills awaiting his consideration after a trip to Asia.

The governor has 10 days excluding Sundays to decide whether to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature.

Among the measures Haslam has yet to decide on are legislation seeking to phase out the state’s Hall income tax on income from stocks and bonds, requiring a lawsuit to be filed over the federal government’s refugee resettlement program and stripping funding from the diversity office at the University of Tennessee.

Ramsey, as quoted in the Times-Free Press: “Before we left over whether to have a veto override session or not I got the strong hint we wouldn’t need one. But at the same time did i ask specifically about bills? No, I didn’t. So that’s the reason I don’t think he will. But whether he signs them or not is a whole different story.”

Harwell, as quoted by the Commercial Appeal: “He (Haslam) indicated toward the end (of the legislative session) that he didn’t see anything that would cause us to need an override session, so I’m anticipating that means he’s going to sign them. Or at least allow them to become law without his signature.”

Note: According to the legislative website, the refugee resolution (SJR467) and the UT diversity bill (HB2248) were sent to the governor on May 9. He has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to sign bills once they reach his office. The Hall tax bill (SB47) apparently hasn’t been officially transmitted to the governor yet.