Beebe vetoes three bills as legislative session wraps up

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Hours after the House and Senate adjourned for the 2013 Legislative Session, Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed three more bills.

According to his formal letter notifying the Legislature of his vetoes, Beebe vetoed Senate Bills 719, 720 and 721.

Bill 719 would have shifted the authority to investigate election irregularities and violations of election law to a new four-member "voter integrity" unit. The unit would consist of four employees of the Secretary of State's office. Beebe said he vetoed the bill because the Secretary of State is a partisan-elected position, so he believes this bill would have effectively given authority over elections to a partisan group.

Beebe vetoed Bill 720 because he said it was impossible to comply with. He cited a passage that said "[if] the General Assembly is in session, the State Board of Election Commissioners shall...file a copy of the complaint with the Legislative Council," but the Council meets only when the Assembly is not in session.

The third bill would have dissolved the current seven-member Board of Election Commissioners and replaced them with a new nine-member commission appointed by the political parties. The governor said in his letter that he vetoed this bill for much the same reason as the first - he felt it would make the Board more partisan instead of less, and "only harm, not promote, the public's confidence in the integrity of our State's election processes."

You can read his entire letter, including full explanations on why he vetoed these three bills, by clicking here.