Despite an upcoming veto session, many of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s vetoes of dozens of bills may go unchallenged so close to an election year, a professor of politics says.
“I think for the most part they’re likely to be sustained, or there may be some opening step in negotiation, as we’re seeing with the budget,” Christopher Galdieri, associate professor of politics at Saint Anselm College, told The Center Square.
Overall, it doesn’t look like there’s enough margin on the vetoes for the House of Representatives or the Senate to override them, Galdieri said.
“The Republicans in the Legislature are probably going to be reluctant to vote against the governor, particularly given that right now, he’s really the one Republican success story [in the state],” Galdieri said.
Democrats in New Hampshire have held the majority in the state House, Senate and Executive Council since the 2018 election.
“If I’m a Republican state rep, I’m going to think not just, ‘what’s my preference on this bill?’; but, 'if he’s overridden on this veto, what might that do in terms of the governor’s standing – both as governor, and going into 2020, when he’s seeking re-election,'” Galdieri said.
Vetoed bills fall into different categories. Those concerning voting or gun laws are unlikely to be overridden, Galdieri said.
Compromise has come on more technical issues.
“When you get into issues where there has been more cross-party support, there’s more hope,” Galdieri said. "Something like energy metering, just a very technical issue where differences aren’t left-right, liberal-conservative."
Galdieri called the sheer volume of vetoes a point in the governor’s favor.
“It would be an awful lot of work to try and override all of them," he said. "Folks who want overrides are going to have to choose their battles.”
Going into 2020, both parties are going to use the veto issue in their campaigns, Galdieri said.
“If you’re a Democrat, you’re going to say, this is why we need to elect a Democratic governor, so we can pass laws and get them signed into law," he said. "And Republicans are going to say, this is why we need the state Legislature back – so we can just focus on our agenda.”