During the Republicans constitutionally questionable “line-item veto override” attempt, State Representative Kate Harper stated on the House Floor “Don’t be worried about constitutionality. I’m a lawyer,” and urged her members to vote for the line item vetoes.
Rep. Kate Harper @Montco061 : “Don’t be worried about constitutionality. I’m a lawyer.”
— Mark Scolforo (@houseofbuddy) August 25, 2015
Vetoes and overrides are dealt with in Article 4, sections 15 and 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
According to Article 4, section 15, after the governor vetoes a bill it must be returned to the House from which it originated with the objections of the governor. That chamber must then note the objections in its record and may proceed to reconsider the bill. If two-thirds of members in that chamber agree to override, it is then sent to the other chamber—with the governor’s objections—for that chamber’s reconsideration. If two-thirds of members in that chamber agree to override, the legislation becomes law.
Article 4, section 16 grants the governor the ability line-item veto portions of appropriations bills and provides for overrides, saying “…the item or items of appropriation disapproved shall be void, unless re-passed according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills over the Executive veto.”
This explains it clearly. Governor Wolf vetoed the budget in full on June 30. The Republicans are treating Governor Wolf’s full veto as a line-item veto, and they are going ahead wasting taxpayers time and energy on veto overriding specific portions of the bill when it was vetoed in full.
But it gets better. Kate Harper, who told her colleagues to ignore the state constitution, is going to introduce a resolution calling for “Civic Education Awareness Week,” and it’s purpose is to “bring attention to the importance of civics educated citizens to create and also understand the rights, duties and responsibilities that accompany the title. It is vital for Pennsylvania’s students to learn about what it means to be a citizenship in order to effectively take ownership of their government.”
But don’t worry, she’s a lawyer.