Legislators who support the prenatal bill believe they can override an expected veto.
The Unicameral passed LB 599 on a 31-to-15 vote. That vote total is significant. The legislature needs 30 votes to override a veto. Gov. Dave Heineman has promised to veto the measure, because it extends prenatal coverage to all expectant mothers who qualify for Medicaid assistance, including illegal immigrants.
Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, the bill sponsor, believes she can hold on to the votes when a motion is made to override the veto.
“We’re going to work very hard to sustain the votes we have to override that veto,” Campbell told reporters during a news conference held at the Capitol.
Campbell declined to criticize Gov. Heineman during the news conference, stating that she found the governor’s stance consistent with what he stated two years ago when the legislature last approached, then eventually dropped, the issue. Campbell, though, did take exception with one tactic the governor took to express his opposition to the bill.
“I think it’s unfortunate in terms of the letter to the Speaker,” Campbell stated, referring to a letter Heineman had hand-delivered to the Speaker’s office [see previous story]. “We all have a great amount of respect for Speaker Flood and that, I think, was regrettable.”
Speaker Mike Flood of Norfolk had scheduled the last day of the legislative session for today, but re-scheduled it for next Wednesday, the 18th, in order for the legislature to consider any motions to override gubernatorial vetoes.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]