More On Toll Moratoriums And Timing

Posted in Privatization, 80th Legislature, Road Issues, Around The State, The Lege at 12:46 pm by wcnews

Ben Wear has this at Postcards on why the veto deadline is Midnight Friday, Perry’s veto clock runs slow. Here’s the gist of it:

Perry’s office says he has until 11:59 p.m. Friday, and everyone seems to be going along with that. But it takes a flexible interpretation of the Texas Constitution to come up with that time.

Here’s the relevant excerpt of what the Constitution says about a governor and his consideration of bills from the Legislature: “If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor with his objections within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law … “

The Constitution, at least in this section, does not define what a “day” is. Under the interpretation of Perry’s office, he’ll actually have 10 days, 14 hours and 44 minutes to make a decision. His office received the bill at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, May 7. To get to Perry’s interpretation, you pretty much have to treat May 7 as Day Zero and assume that the 10-day clock didn’t start ticking until May 7 turned into May 8.

And he goes on to say, “..for a variety of political, tactical and symbolic reasons..” nobody wants HB 1892 vetoed and the override process started. Somebody’s worried about looking weak and irrelevant. Anyway with all this talk about timing it reminds me about how the governor’s office slow-played accepting the bill and how much time that bought him. This from the QR onMay 4th:

Nevertheless, the delay gives the Governor and his allies an additional three days to round up votes to block the over ride.

Or work on a compromise. If it wasn’t for those shenanigans we’d be well into an override frenzy with all the political, tactical and symbolic issues it would bring. Doen’t much matter now, more from Ben’s post:

Absent a Texas Constitutional scholar raising a stink, however, this is the interpretation that will carry the day. Or maybe that’s a day plus 14 hours and 44 minutes.

Is there a constitutional scholar in the house?

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