As state lawmakers plan to reconvene this Friday, Republicans are shrugging off concerns about overriding the governor’s veto of a bill passed in their regular session. Attorney General Tom Miller has issued an opinion saying they can’t override a veto once the regular session’s ended.
But Ankeny attorney and Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti says the GOP’s legal counsel disagrees. Lamberti says the courts have taken up other cases but nothing just like this, so he says the attorney general’s opinion “is just an opinion.”
The Attorney General said rather than overriding a veto from a session that’s been adjourned, lawmakers convening in special session should vote to pass another bill like the one struck down by the governor. Lamberti says it’s an important issue and should proceed. “If somebody wants to challenge what we do in terms of a veto override, so be it,” he says, declaring it’s an important question about the separation of powers between Iowa’s executive and legislative branches of government.
Lamberti says it could also settle questions of procedure about future special sessions. Lamberti says he feels “very comfortable” that lawmakers do have the power to use their special session to override a veto of a bill from the regular session.
Republicans say the bill adding limits to state government’s power to take property was a well-crafted compromise and they’re urging Democrats who helped pass it to join them in voting to override the veto. In his statement about the veto, Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack said the property-rights bill would infringe on local economic-development projects.