Monday, February 8, 2010

Senate Overrides Veto of SB 531

UPDATE: Senate votes to override last year's SB531 34-8

The Senate is debating Sen. Tim Keller's bill to override Gov. Bill Richardson's veto of last year's Senate Bill 531, which would give the Legislative Finance Committee the authority to obtain classified financial data from state agencies.

The bill passed unanimously last year, in both the Senate and House, but Richardson pocket vetoed it.

Senate President pro Tem Tim Jennings said the bill would help with the investigation of Medicaid fraud.

Sen. Phil Griego spoke against the override. He called it a "gotcha governor" bill and said the move is just an attempt to embarrass Richardson. Sen. Mary Jane Garcia agreed. But both voted for the bill last year.

Proponents speaking include some strange bedfellows such including progressive Dems like Keller, Sen. Eric Griego and Steve Fischmann as well as conservative Dems like Jennings and Republicans like Sen. Clint Harden.

Phil Griego said the override probably would pass the Senate but die in the House. I suspect he may be right.

UPDATE: Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos released the following statement:

“Governor Richardson is focused on the budget and not on procedural gimmicks or attempts to derail the serious business of the legislature. The Governor’s veto of this bill, which has serious constitutional problems, speaks for itself.”