February 28, 2016
The West Virginia Constitutional carry bill, HB 4145, has passed both the House and the Senate by wide, veto proof margins. The House, 68-31, the Senate, 24-9. The bill went to Governor Tomblin on the 26th of February. According to West Virginia law, Governor Tomblin has five days to sign or veto the bill.
Last year, 2015, he did not receive the Constitutional carry bill until the last day of the session. He was able to veto Constitutional carry after the legislature had adjourned, ensuring that his veto would not be overridden.
This year, 2016, Constitutional carry was passed with enough time for a veto override if necessary. If Governor Tomblin signs the bill, it becomes law; if he does nothing, it becomes law after five days. If he vetoes the bill within the five day period, the West Virginia legislature can override his veto with simple majorities in both houses. From wv.us:
Action by the Governor
After a bill passes both chambers in the same form, it is sent to the governor. While the Legislature is in session, the governor has five days to approve or veto a bill he or she receives. After the Legislature adjourns, the governor has 15 days to act on most bills. However, the budget bill and supplemental appropriations bills must be acted upon by the governor within five days regardless of when they are received. If the governor does not act within these time limits, bills automatically become law without his or her signature.
Overriding a Veto
If the Legislature is still in session when the governor vetoes a bill, a simple majority vote of the members of both legislative bodies is necessary to override the veto. In cases when a budget bill or supplemental appropriation bill is vetoed, a two-thirds vote of the members of both houses is needed to override the veto.
By my count the bill was sent to Governor Tomblin on the 26th of February; If he does not sign or veto it, I expect it to become law on 3 March, 2016. The West Virginia Legislature is scheduled to stay in session until 12 March, 2016.
We should know if Governor Tomblin has vetoed HB 4145 by the third of March; the legislature will have to act promptly if they are to override a veto. They only have until the 12th of March, about six ordinary working days.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.