Gov. Haley Barbour’s legislative vetoes have yet to fall victim to legislative override since he took office in 2004. That’s an enviable, virtually unprecedented political batting average for a Mississippi governor.
But the state’s increasingly desperate budget situation may well blemish that record.
Barbour came close to losing that perfect veto record in 2009, when some fellow Republicans turned on him in the contentious battle over eminent domain. But Barbour enlisted help from Democrats to stave off that challenge in the Senate after the House voted to override Barbour’s veto of the eminent domain bill.
The governor’s veto record is all the more stunning based on the fact that Democrats control both houses of the Mississippi Legislature – 74-48 in the House and 26-25 in the Senate with one open seat.