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Friday, August 1, 2008


Gov. Matt Blunt on July 9 vetoed a bill that could have given the student member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators full voting rights starting in 2011. The General Assembly passed the bill in May with overwhelming support, culminating years of efforts by lawmakers to secure voting power for the student curator. The voting members of the Board of Curators opposed the bill and praised Blunt for vetoing it.

The board consists of nine voting members – currently one from each of Missouri’s congressional districts – and one nonvoting student member. However, Missouri is expected to lose a congressional seat in January 2013 based on the 2010 U.S. Census. SB 873 sponsored state Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, would have given the ninth voting spot to the student curator starting in January 2011.

The bill passed 31-2 in the Senate and 100-47 in the House of Representatives. The number of supporters in the Senate would be sufficient to override the governor’s veto. The number of “yes” votes in the House fell nine short of the necessary two-thirds majority, although with 14 members absent from the final vote the mathematical possibility of reaching the 109 votes needed does exist. However, given that lawmakers of the governor’s party traditionally don’t support veto overrides except on hot-button issues, it unlikely an override will occur when the legislature convenes its annual veto session in September.

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