The governor’s veto stamp doesn’t always result in a quick vote at the legislature to override the veto.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s promised veto of Senate Bill 2 is expected to cruise to an override in the Senate, where it initially received a 32-16 vote.
But the prospects of an override in the House are far less certain: 61 percent of legislators voted for Senate Bill 2 on Thursday, and a three-fifths majority is needed to override a veto.
That close margin is prompting some observers to wonder: Will House Speaker Tim Moore bring back the “veto garage” used by his predecessor, Thom Tillis?
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That’s a term coined by Tillis to describe where vetoed bills go until he had enough votes for a successful override. Sometimes, that could mean waiting until a number of a bill’s opponents were out of the chamber. Overrides are based on the fraction of members voting – so there’s no requirement to get exactly 72 votes.
The “veto garage” concept faced a legal challenge arguing that override votes can’t be postponed indefinitely. The lawsuit pointed to language in the state constitution that says after a veto, the General Assembly must “proceed to reconsider” the bill.
During Tillis’ time as speaker, some vetoed bills stayed in the garage for more than a year.
We’ll soon find out if Senate Bill 2 is headed to the garage.