Republican leaders in the Iowa House are pushing forward with plans to override the governor’s veto of property rights legislation. The top Republican leader in the House sent Secretary of State Chet Culver a letter Wednesday, asking Culver to return the official copy of the bill Governor Tom Vilsack vetoed.
The House must have that official copy in order to vote to override the veto but the Attorney General has suggested the legislature doesn’t have the authority to override the veto because of a technicality — the 2006 legislature adjourned — and lawmakers must reconvene and pass another bill to act upon.
House Republican Leader Chuck Gipp of Decorah says Secretary of State Culver, the Democratic nominee for governor, shouldn’t concern himself with the legalities and should just give legislators the copy of the bill”We’re trying to do this systematically, one step at a time,” Gipp says. “The first thing is to get the bill back from the Secretary of State.”
But Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says it’s a moot point since there aren’t enough votes in the senate to override Democrat Tom Vilsack’s veto. Gronstal says this latest G-O-P gambit is just an attempt to draw Culver into a spat with the outgoing Democratic governor. “I don’t think returning the bill means anything. I think it’s one more political game by the Republicans (who) would rather play politics with this issue than get something done,” Gronstal says. “It doesn’t matter what (Culver) does and I would suggest he go ahead and turn (the bill) over to them.”
Gipp, the House Republican Leader, makes the same suggestion. “I would think that Secretary of State Culver would not want to get embroiled in this battle in the first place and would willingly send it back if requested to do so,” Gipp says. “Now it will be interesting to see if he does so or whether or not he inserts himself in this battle.”
Culver’s top deputy in the Secretary of State’s office says he’s not sure if the office can release the official copy of the bill and they’ll consult with the Attorney General for advice. The bill in question would have limited local governments’ authority to seize private property for economic development projects.