Override session polls sent out to legislators
Lawmakers have received their polls on whether or not to hold a veto override session on May 13.
The polls are due back April 19, through e-mail, fax, or phone.
The poll question from the House of Representatives reads, "The following bill was vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert. Do you favor a veto override session? Check, yes or no."
"So basically, the poll asks if you are in favor of meeting; it doesn’t say are you in favor of the bill or not," explained Kraig Powell, R-Heber.
A few representatives have already begun responding to the e-mail by "replying all" to the e-mail with a "yes" or "no," though Powell said there aren’t enough e-mail replies yet to get a feel for which way the poll will go.
Powell said he will vote against holding an override session.
"I’m supporting the Governor’s veto," he said.
Herbert vetoed a controversial gun bill last month that would allow anyone over the age of 21 who can legally purchase and own a gun to carry an unloaded concealed weapon without obtaining a permit.
"It’s really pretty simple," said Senate bill sponsor Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who favors the bill. "It doesn’t change anything except you can simply cover up the gun you are allowed to carry right now without a permit or anything else. It’s a step in the right direction."
Christensen added that a lot of people become worried when they see someone carry a gun around.
"A little bit of discretion by covering it up is nice, but if you don’t happen to have a permit, you can’t do it," Christensen. "As long as we have open carry here, I think it’s an excellent idea to be able to cover that up."
H.B. 76, Concealed Weapon Carry Amendments, more popularly known as the "constitutional carry" gun bill, passed through both the Senate and House of Representatives by a slim margin.
If even a handful of legislators switch positions, particularly under the microscope of the public eye and in light of the Governor’s veto against the bill, a veto override will likely fail.
Powell said he originally voted in favor of the bill without understanding last-minute changes to it, and later regretted the decision.
"Supposedly the Senate is where they’ve lost the votes," Powell said. "But it was also very close in the House. Without my vote, they’ll have a margin of one or zero. It’s right on the border. And it would seem to me that there are probably at least a few other members of the House who are not willing to hold a veto override session."
Powell added that if the vote is going to be that close, it may not be worth the time or expense of reconvening if there is not a solid override supermajority.
"And it doesn’t appear there is," he said.
The Legislature would need a two-thirds majority in both House and Senate to override the Governor’s veto.
And with the Legislature already scheduled to meet two days after the May 13 override session deadline for the monthly interim committee meeting, Powell said he doubts they will want to meet twice without the solid votes.
"So I would lean against thinking we’re probably not going to go into a veto override session, but you can never predict these things," he said.
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