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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Veto override vote to hit floor amid end-of-session agenda

 
 

Student Senate will vote Wednesday to uphold or override Student Body President John Claybrook’s veto of S.B. 65-70 – also known as the Religious Funding Exemption Bill – which stirred controversy in early April.
Claybrook and Speaker of the Senate, Scott Bowen, issued a statement after the veto decision giving intent to postpone the veto override indefinitely – effectively ending discussion of the bill.
Bowen said he and Claybrook later realized the student government constitution and bylaws stated that a vote must take place and could not be postponed as was initially believed.
Judicial Court Associate Justice Julian Whitley, junior political science and history major, issued a statement in response to the original release by Claybrook and Bowen, stating that a vote must be held.
“The [response statement] was a simple correction from the previous statement released,” Whitley said.
With all the other, end-of-session issues to work through, Bowen said he wants to drop the controversy and move past S.B. 65-70 altogether.
“I can’t speak for individuals but I think in general most people want this issue to be over and move on to other things,” Bowen said. “There are a lot of other things we’re dealing with and a lot we need to go over Wednesday night. This is probably the least important of them. It’s time to move on to something else.”
Bowen said he doesn’t believe the veto override will receive the two-thirds vote needed at Wednesday’s meeting.
“We recognize there isn’t enough support to overturn the veto,” Bowen said. “Any sort of effort to actually do so would be completely unproductive. It’s not worth dragging ourselves and the student body through this debate again.”
Christopher Russo, electrical engineering graduate student and speaker of the 66th Session, said he doesn’t believe the veto will be overturned and hopes to move on as well.
“For me, the original message of the people on the bill has been lost,” Russo said. “I don’t expect any sort of any real concentrated effort to overturn the veto but I can’t speak on behalf of the other senators.”
Bowen said his mission now is to get through the override vote quickly. He said a motion to amend the debate and cut out non-required aspects of the meeting will be presented so that limited time may be spent on the bill.
“We want to cut out the remaining things you usually have in the overturn effort,” Bowen said. “We want to check the constitution-mandated boxes and then let the bill die.”

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