Watching the General Assembly today was certainly instructive. The phrase has been attributed to a number of people but whoever said it was right: Laws, as with sausage, should not be watched in the making.
In my previous post I did a sort-of live blogging of event up to around 6:15 PM or so. Feel free to read that post but I’m going to recap the pertinent stuff here. As you know if you’ve read this blog I was an advocate for several bills passing through the Assembly and, when Governor Kaine vetoed them, I was also an advocate for the override of those vetoes. Well, here’s how it shook out today:
|House (Y/N)||Senate (Y/N)||House (Y/N)||Senate (Y/N)|
|HB1851||Military > 1 gun/mo.||73/26||26/14||Yes||No|
|SB877||Retired LEO CCW in restaurant||76/22||30/10||Yes||Yes|
|SB1035||CCW in restaurant||n/a||24/16||n/a||No|
|SB1528||CCW safety course online||73/23||28/12||Yes||Yes|
You’ll note that the Senate actually had a majority vote to override the veto in each case. The ones that failed did so because they needed 2/3rds of the Senate to vote for the override, which means they needed 27 Yes votes to get the job done. Cynic that I am, I am convinced the Democratic majority in the Senate contrived to allow a number of their own to vote yes to the override so they could go home and say they voted “yes” but there just wasn’t enough votes to complete the override. Be as that may, this is what it is. Of the 5 bills I was hoping to see an override on, 2 of them managed to get through. Of the others, the House voted to override but the Senate did not.
The big bill, so far as I was concerned, was SB1035 which sought to remove the inconsistency of being a trustworthy enough citizen to carry a concealed weapon in the street and the sidewalk outside a restaurant but not enough so as to carry it past the threshold of that restaurant. Irrational fears and hyped-up hypotheticals is all that the opponents of this bill have had for over 2 years, now. This law has been passed twice by the Commonwealth’s elected representatives by quite large margins only to be dismissed by a handful of people. Truly incredible.
The good news is that this will be the last time Kaine gets to use Virginia’s legislative process to pad his national resume. He’s out in November, period. Those of us who have tried to work with him and his party must now put our efforts into electing Bob McDonnell to the governorship and as many Delegates and Senators as we can who offer the trust and respect to Virginia’s citizens that we’ve clearly been asking for.
In case any of my nearby neighbors were wondering, Delegate Dave Poisson (House 32nd District) and Senator Mark Herring (Senate 33rd District) voted like this:
Note that Poisson didn’t vote on SB1035 because the Senate failed to override making the House vote moot. I would like to point out to my fellow Loudouners that the votes of these 2 gentlemen make it clear they trust a retired cop slamming down brews at the local pub with a concealed weapon far more than they trust you stone-cold sober. Keep that in mind.
I’d also like to hear them explain themselves regarding HB1851 where they think our military personnel and Guardsmen aren’t worth the consideration of being able to buy more than 1 handgun a month. With the deployments going on a soldier with orders to ship out might very well get caught having to decide between buying a sidearm for his own use overseas or getting one for his wife to keep at home to defend themselves here. I don’t understand how they can claim to trust and honor our military personnel – and depend on them to fulfill their missions, I might add – and not allow them this latitude. I hope members of our military and Guard will keep that in mind, as well.
Time to turn our eyes toward the future, my friends, and work to show Virginians everywhere that we’ve got the ideas and solutions to a better way and the people who know how to get them implemented.
I’ve mentioned that the General Assembly has convened today to consider actions on several vetoes and amendments returned to them by the Governor. I have taken notice of the House minutes today and find that the House has overridden vetoes on 2 of the bills I was speaking of.
HB1851, which would allow members of the US military and the VA National Guard to be exempt from Virginia’s “1 handgun a month” limitation was vetoed by the Governor. The House has voted 72-26 to override. It now goes to the Senate.
HB2528 which requires localities wishing to perform a “gun buyback program” to pass a specific ordinance authorizing it and to sell guns received in this manner to federal firearms licensed dealers whenever possible was also vetoed. The House overrode that veto by a vote of 71-28. It will also go to the Senate.
More to come as I hear more.
Update: Interestingly, there’s a real kerfuffle going on over in the Senate around SB1070. The issue doesn’t appear to be the Governor’s amendments to this bill but, rather, the question of whether the amendments offered are “severable.” I came in a little late on the matter but the Republican caucus appears to be arguing that the Governor’s stance that these amendments are not severable (which means considered separately, I’m guessing) is a breach of the Constitutional duties assigned to the Senate. They are arguing that the Constitutional matter should be considered and dealt with before the amendments to the bill are considered. The Democrat caucus is merely trying to force the amendments through.
More to come as I hear more.
Update 2: The House has completed it’s 1st set of business which was dealing with the House bills vetoed or amended by the Governor. They stand in recess for the moment. (Until 5:00 pm EDT, as of now.) They are awaiting the Senate to complete their run of bills. The Senate’s calendar dealt with the Senate bills that were amended first and they appear to be stuck on SB1495, again over whether or not the amendments offered by the Governor are to be considered “separate and severable” and, therefore, subject to being debated separately. Counting SB1495, they have 4 more bills to consider before moving to the issues vetoed by Gov. Kaine. There are 7 of those bills, including SB877, SB1528, and SB1035 which I’ve written about before. The Senate needs to act on those bills before the House can consider them. More to come, folks.
Oh, by the way, the Senate’s minutes are here. If you’re extremely bored and want to go watch either session in progress, go to the G.A.’s web site and click on one of the links for video. There’s audio-only links, too.
Update 3: OK, apparently the issue was a matter of whether the amendments are separate and severable meaning that if they were not, the whole bill had to go back to committee. The Senate has voted along party lines to say that they are and, therefore, are moving ahead to determine whether to accept the Governor’s amendments again.
Update 4: The Senate has finished the amendments phase and is now taking up the Governor’s vetoes. At 5:50PM they overrode the veto on SB877.
Update 5: SB971, the “Triggerman” veto has been sustained in the Senate. SB1035 is being discussed now. (6:12PM)
…And as of 6:15PM, the Senate has failed to override the veto of SB1035. The vote was 24-16 in favor of the override, but that’s not the
3/4ths 2/3rds vote necessary to get it done.
I’ll have more on that later but, for now, I’m headed to dinner.
(Edited my Update 5 to correct the passage ratio required for a veto override. It’s 2/3rds or 27 of 40 Senators.)
Update 6: The House is starting on the Senate responses to the Kaine vetos. They’ve passed by SB877 and are working on SB1528, the issue of permitting on-line instruction for the purposes of qualifying for a concealed carry permit.
From Ed Morrissey of Hot Air:
It’s considered de rigueur among the cognoscenti to apologize for America by noting its youth compared to other countries, especially when the cognoscenti go on tour. Barack Obama tried this apology on his European Tour, but unfortunately, he used it in a nation that doesn’t qualify:
Obama exercised his routine diminishing of America in front of foreign crowds by noting to a Turkish audience that America “is still very new” compared to the older, and by implication wiser, country of Turkey. Just 1 problem with that – Turkey wasn’t a country until 1923. By my math, that makes the United States considerably older than Turkey, not the other way around.This is part of Morrissey’s “Obamateurism of the day” series and it certainly belongs there.
America isn’t perfect, we all know that. But it’s got a lot to be proud of and a lot to recommend it even in comparison to those oh-so-elite Europeans. We don’t owe anyone fawning obsequiousness.