Haslam signed everything the legislature sent him this year (524 bills and resolutions)

Gov. Bill Haslam signed everything the General Assembly sent to his desk this year, leaving his list of vetoes since 2011 to stand at four.

From an AP brief:

The Republican governor signed all the 524 measures sent his way this session, declining all calls for vetoing bills like a new law requiring the use of the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in state law that gay rights groups have contended is a sneaky way to deny same-sex couples the legal rights and protections granted to a “husband,” a “wife,” a “father” or “mother.”

Others had unsuccessfully lobbied Haslam to veto a bill that allows people with handgun carry permits to be armed on all local government properties unless city and counties use metal detectors, hire security guards and check people’s bags.

In seven annual legislative sessions since he became governor, Haslam has vetoed just four bills – most recently a measure passed last year to declare the Holy Bible as Tennessee’s official state book. An attempt to override the veto failed.

The others:

In 2012, Haslam vetoed a bill that sought to stop a Vanderbilt University policy that required campus religious groups to accept “all comers” as members, even if a student seeking to join the group had different religious beliefs than those espoused by the organization. He vetoed the bill in May after the legislature had permanently adjourned the session, leaving legislative supports no opportunity to attempt an override.

In 2013, Haslam vetoed a measure that critics had labeled ‘the Ag gag bill,’ which made it illegal to secretly record animal cruelty – a measure inspired by a secretly recorded video recording of a Tennessee walking horse being abused that led to conviction of a horse trainer. There was no override attempt with supporters instead deciding to let the veto stand and try (successfully) a considerably revised and less controversial version the following year.

In 2014, Haslam vetoed a bill sponsors said was intended to deter vandalism by “flash mobs.” It created a new crime of “retail vandalism,” but the governor noted – as did some critics in the legislature – it also included a provision that would have reduced penalties for some types of pollution. Again, there was no override attempt with supporters basically agreeing with Haslam that the pollution matter was an “unintended consequence” that could be eliminated in separate follow-up legislation.

One Response to Haslam signed everything the legislature sent him this year (524 bills and resolutions)

  • Darryl Coleman says:

    I missed the bill that held up the ok of the GAS TAX – was something for Veterans… Do U know what that bill said???

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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