Historic votes as Senate overrides Governor's mass vetoes

By JASON MERCIER  | 
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Mar 28, 2016

With the same warp speed the Governor used to veto 27 bills on March 10, the Senate today started to override each of those vetoes. As of now 15 override votes have been taken with more planned for tonight. 

Here are some of the tweets from today's historic veto override votes:

Keith Eldridge@KeithKOMO4
Let the overrides begin. 43 senators reversing @GovInslee vetoes. His move backfired. However budget deal close.

Michael Baumgartner ‏@VoteBaumgartner   
Senate now serving 27 tall glasses of veto override to Gov Inslee. #waleg

Sharon Brown ‏@sharonbrownWA   
Overriding Governor vetoes off Senate floor right now history in the making #overrideveteos 

Rachel La Corte ‏@RachelAPOly   
Lawmakers just took a quick break on Senate floor to talk about posing for pictures with the bills now re-passed via veto overrides. #waleg

As reported by Jerry Cornfield, the last time the legislature attempted a veto override was in 2003. That effort, however, failed. The last successful veto override was in 1998. Never before in the state's history has a Governor issued mass vetoes or the legislature acted to override multiple vetoes at one-time. Now attention turns to the House to see if it provides the necessary 2/3 votes to sustain the overrides. 

There was some question whether the legislature would vote to re-pass the bills and send back to the Governor for approval or instead override his vetoes. According to the Everett Herald

On March 10, minutes after lawmakers ended regular session and entered special session, Inslee announced he had signed 10 bills and vetoed 27 others because legislators failed to complete their “number one job”.

“I recognize this is perhaps the largest single batch of vetoes in history,” he said at the time. “None of these vetoed bills were as important as the fundamental responsibility of passing a budget.”

All them enjoyed strong bipartisan support with several passing without a dissenting vote in either chamber.

That bodes well for getting the necessary two-thirds majority if leaders in the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate agree to proceed.

But it's not certain they will.

Democrats, in particular, might be deterred by the potential political effect of taking on the Democratic governor in such a public manner. They don't want to provide any fodder for Inslee's opponents to use against him in his bid for re-election.

Today's historic veto overrides were made possible by word of a long-awaited deal on the state's supplemental budget. Though details are not posted yet, the House has placed HB 2376 on the floor for consideration. The rumor is lawmakers will vote on the new budget as early as tomorrow. So when exactly will the rest of us get to see the details?