Tables turned on pocket-veto user
Mississippi Sen. Sally Doty says she’s disappointed that a fellow Republican in the House, Rep. Andy Gipson, killed a bill she authored to make it easier for married victims of domestic abuse to get a divorce.
She seemed particularly bothered that Gipson did not let the committee he chairs vote on the measure.
Doty has little room to complain.
She did the exact same thing last week when she didn’t let the committee she chairs vote on House bills that would allow in-person early voting and online voter registration.
This power of the “pocket veto” is sometimes used so that only the chair takes the heat for killing a measure on which colleagues would rather not vote.
Other times it’s exercised because the chair personally doesn’t want the legislation to pass, even though the majority of lawmakers might be for it.
Whatever the reason, it is frustrating to see democracy short-circuited by a single lawmaker.
But a committee chair who uses the pocket veto shouldn’t gripe when the tables are turned.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who blocked an effort to raise money for repairing Mississippi roads and bridges though an internet tax, thinks it’s no coincidence that federal inspectors recently closed more than 100 bridges in the state as unsafe.
Reeves thinks the closures were timed to put pressure on lawmakers to act this session.
Maybe, but it doesn’t discount the fact that the state’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling while Reeves and the rest of the GOP leadership are doing little about it.