The Mississippi House and Senate returned to the Capitol on Monday to address several vetoes made by Governor Tate Reeves. By the end of Monday night both chambers had overridden Governor Reeves’ veto of the Education budget.

Right off the bat, the House of Representatives voted to override the veto on HB 1700, passing the original appropriations bill by a vote of 109 to 7.

Shortly after, a Rules committee meeting was called in which they brought forth a resolution that would suspend the rules in order for both chambers to take up the Education and Department of Marine Resources budgets. DMR’s budget was never set before Legislators adjourned in July.

HCR 85 required a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate in order to pass. The House voted 114 to 2, and the Senate passed it unanimously.

Several hours later, the Senate also passed the override of HB 1700 by a vote of 41 to1.

Procedurally, the bill was sent back to the House for approval.

“I’m not at all surprised that they did that but here’s the point they need to look for, are the 23,157 teachers going to get paid,” asked Reeves in regard to the votes in the House early Monday. He said if teachers get their additional money and DMR has a budget, it will be worth it.

He added that he believes many members are using this as a tactic in a political game, going so far as to say that if any individual member “wants to punch me in the face or stab me in the back” that he was fine with that, as long as teachers get their money.

There were several bills initially brought up in the House and referred to committee. They included:

  • HB 1700, Department of Education budget, over line item vetoes
  • HB 1782, in which he vetoed the appropriation of CARES Act dollars to the North Oak Regional Medical Center and funds were sent to the MAGnet Community Health Disparity Program
  • HB 1387, Mississippi Workforce Incentive Act of 2020
  • HB 658, which dealt with felony conviction expungements.

All but education are still on the table as the Legislature has not adjourned.

The last time a Governor’s veto was overridden was in 2002 when a Democrat controlled Legislature voted to override dozens of appropriations bills vetoed by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove, also a Democrat, claimed the Legislature was appropriating money funds then the state would collect in revenue. House and Senate members disagreed, enacting the budget bills previously passed.

Now, Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature as well as the Governor’s Mansion.