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Gubernatorial Veto Authority with Respect to Major

Gubernatorial Veto Authority with Respect to Major Budget Bill(s)

Legislative Budget Procedures: Enactment of the Budget

Table 6-3: Governors' Veto  Power Regarding Appropriations Legislation

December 2008

 

Introdution:  In the columns, the heading "entire bill only" indicates that a governor has no line-item veto, but only the power to veto an entire appropriations bill.  All governors except the governor of Maryland have the power to veto an entire appropriations bill.  The table focuses on their partial or line-item veto powers.

Jurisdiction

Funding for a Particular Line Item

Funding for an Entire Program or Agency

Language Accom­panying Approp. Itself †

 

Language in Footnote or Following Approp. Ex­plaining How $ to Be Spent †

Proviso or Contin­gency Language on Expend. of Approp. †

 

Entire Bill Only

 

Reduce (R) Amounts or Substitute(S)
Amounts for
for Legislature to Consider

Other

 

Alabama*

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

S*

 

 

Alaska*

 

x

 

x

 

x*

 

x*

 

x*

 

 

R

 

 

Arizona*

 

x

 

x

 

 

x*

 

x*

 

 

 

 

Arkansas

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California*

 

x

 

x

 

x*

 

x*

 

x*

 

 

R

 

 

Colorado*

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

 x*

 

 x*

 

 

 

 

Connecticut

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delaware

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida*

 

x

 

 

 

 

x*

 

 

 

 

Georgia

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Hawaii

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idaho

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois*

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

R*

 

 

Indiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

Iowa*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 x*

 

Kansas

 

x

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

Kentucky*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

—*

 

Louisiana*

 

 x*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Maine*

 

 x*

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

R*

 

 x*

 

Maryland*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 x*

 

Massachusetts

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

R

 

 

Michigan

 

  x

 

x

 

 x

 

 x

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Missouri*

 

x

 

x

 

x*

 

 

 

 

R

 

 

 

Montana*

 

  x*

 

 x

 

 x*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska*

 

x

 

x

 

x*

 

 

 

 

R

 

 

Nevada

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

New Hampshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

New Jersey

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

R

 

 

New Mexico

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

New York*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 x*

 

North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

North Dakota

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Ohio

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

Oregon

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pennsylvania

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhode Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

South Carolina

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

South Dakota

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

R

 

 

Texas*

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

x*

 

 

 

x

 

Utah*

 

x

 

 

*

 

*

 

*

 

 

 

 

Vermont

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

Virginia*

 

  x*

 

x

 

 x*

 

 x*

 

 x*

 

 

R

 

 

Washington

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

West Virginia

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

R

 

 

Wisconsin*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

R*, S*

 

 

Wyoming

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

American Samoa (N/R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

District of Columbia (N/R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guam*

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 x*

 

Northern Mariana Islands*

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 x*

 

Puerto Rico

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

U.S. Virgin Islands (N/R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, November 2008

Key:
— = Not applicable
N/R = No response
† = Language Accompanying Appropriation: Language that describes an appropriation and is next to the appropriation. This may be a title or short description.
† = Footnote Language: Language that describes how money is to be spent. Footnotes also may be called legislative intent language. Footnotes usually appear on the bottom of the page with the corresponding appropriation.
† = Proviso Language: Language that explains what the executive, legislative or judicial agency has to do to receive an appropriation. This also is known as contingency language.

*Notes:

AlabamaThe governor may veto the bill entirely or offer executive amendments. The legislature may accept the amendments or may pass the original bill again with a majority vote, causing it to go into effect without the governor's signature.  The governor has line item veto if the Legislature is still in session. In 2008, the governor used his line-item veto authority to veto language that created a conditional appropriation.  Whether that veto is a constitutional exercise of the governor's authority is currently (October 2008) the subject of litigation between the legislature and the governor.

AlaskaThe governor can veto anything that appears as a line item, meaning that that governor can reduce or eliminate funding at any level it appears in a bill.  The governor can veto language setting conditions on an appropriation only if the funding for that purpose is vetoed.  Intent language (a statement of legislative intent that does not carry the force of law) can be vetoed without a veto of the associated appropriation.

Arizona The gvernor can veto the footnote or the proviso if those items by themselves constitute the appropriation (sometimes appropriations to spend extra dollars are in the footnotes). The governor cannot veto the footnote if it  controls how the funding is to be spent, without vetoing the line item as well. 

CaliforniaThe governor can eliminate language only when vetoing an appropriation.

ColoradoIntent language and contingency language may be vetoed only if the associated appropriation is vetoed.

FloridaThe governor may veto a proviso only if the accompanying appropriation is also vetoed.

IllinoisThe governor has reduction veto power on a particular line item. The amount he/she approves becomes law unless the veto is overridden by the legislature.

IowaAs a result of a state Supreme Court suit, the governor, in item vetoing, must veto a complete section—he or she can do that only in an appropriations bill. Before this suit, the governor vetoed words.

KentuckyVetoes may be overridden by a majority vote of the members of each chamber.

LouisianaThe governor can veto anything that appears as a line item or veto the entire bill.

MaineThe governor may replace a disapproved line item amount provided that there is no net increase in appropriations.  A majority vote of each house overrides a governor's veto.

MarylandThe governor has no veto power over appropriations for the operating budget, but has a line-item veto over projects funded in the capital budget bill.  These provisions are logically linked to the unique Maryland constitutional provision that prohibits legislators from adding amounts to the governor's budget recommendations.  Any appropriations sent from the General Assembly to the governor are the amount the governor has recommended or below that amount, other than capital budget items.

MissouriWords that set out the purpose of an appropriation may be stricken only when the appropriation is vetoed.

MontanaThe constitution states that the governor may veto “items,” generally defined as specific appropriations. However, “item” also includes standard language. If a bill originally passed by a two-thirds vote and the Legislature has adjourned, the secretary of state can poll the legislative membership by mail for a veto override vote.

Nebraska—”Line items” for veto purposes are the same as an agency program.  However, appropriations from different fund sources are individually listed in a bill and can be individually vetoed.  The only case in which language can be vetoed is earmark language that contains an appropriation; the language and appropriation must be vetoed together.

New YorkThe governor may veto only legislative “additions” to the budget, which is to say, the governor cannot veto amounts he has recommended to the legislature.

TexasAt the end of each general appropriations bill conference committee report are a number of appropriations made contingent on the passage of other legislation. They are listed as individual appropriations riders and are subject to the line-item veto power.

UtahTo veto intent language, the entire item (including funding) must be vetoed.

VirginiaGubernatorial line item vetoes must strike an indivisible sum of money for a stated purpose, along with all language conditions or restrictions applied thereto. Language may not be stricken without also striking the accompanying appropriation.

WisconsinThe governor may reduce an appropriated amount by striking a digit. The governor also may strike an entire amount and write in a lower figure.  This power is applicable only to appropriations, not to other numbers that may be in a bill.

GuamThe governor also has authority to veto the entire bill.

Northern Mariana IslandsThe governor has a vast line-item veto power. The only restriction is that if a line-item veto is made on certain worksheets, all related administrative provisions also must be vetoed; otherwise, such veto will not be effective. In case of discrepancies between the worksheets and the administrative provisions, the latter shall prevail.

 

Posted March 1999, Updated December 2008.
Email mailto:statebudget-info@ncsl.org?subject=Legislative Budget Procedures: Gubernatorial Veto Authority with Respect to Major Budget Bill(s) for more information.

 


 

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