House overrides Governor Reeves’ education budget veto

In the latest chapter of the saga between the House of Representatives and Governor Tate Reeves, the House has voted 109-7 to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 1700.

HB 1700, otherwise known as the education appropriations bill, was originally vetoed by Reeves hours before the deadline to do so on July 8.

Reeves vetoed the educational portion of the fiscal year 2021 budget due to the legislature omitting about $26 million for the School Recognition Program, which is a program implemented to provide pay raises to teachers at A and B rated schools and schools that improve a letter grade from one year to the next.

“I just couldn’t take that chance when it’s nearly $30 million and 23,157 teachers have their paychecks on the line,” Reeves said after deciding to go the veto route. “I’m sorry but…I’ve got to do what’s right for those teachers.”

Even though HB 1700 did pass today, the legislative process was a rare one as Speaker Philip Gunn went ahead and marked all members as a “yes” vote, and if they chose to be recorded as a “no” vote, they had five minutes to alert the clerk or Gunn himself.

“Ladies and gentleman, I’ll remind you of the procedure that we’re using to vote,” Gunn said to his peers before the vote. “We are recording everyone as a ‘yes.’ If you wish to vote ‘no,’ you need to notify the clerk. I’m going to give you five minutes…you can text the clerk, you can text me, [or] you can walk up here and tell me.”

The bill will now be sent over to Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and the Senate.

This all comes one week after the House of Representatives decided to file a lawsuit against Governor Reeves over his choice to veto the educational portion of the budget.

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