Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday vetoed a bill that he said would allow children to ride on the bows of boats without railings, and he signed legislation to protect people from being prosecuted for some crimes if they call an ambulance to help someone who is overdosing on drugs.
The Republican vetoed five pieces of legislation out of about 80 that were passed by the GOP-led Legislature during lawmakers’ annual session that ended in May. Greitens is letting a bill that repeals St. Louis’ new $10-an-hour minimum wage become law on Aug. 28 without his signature.
Current law says motorboat drivers are responsible for making sure people don’t ride on bows, gunwales and the tops of seats without proper railings. The bill Greitens vetoed would have made an exception for boats originally made without those railings and for boats with outboard jet motors.
“To paint a picture, this bill would allow two children to ride on an open bow of a speedboat traveling in excess of 40 mph on any body of water, including the Lake of the Ozarks,” Greitens wrote in a letter to lawmakers explaining his veto.
He also signed legislation that will protect people from being prosecuted for some drug-related crimes, for violating a restraining order, or for violating probation or parole terms if they call an ambulance to help someone who is overdosing.
The measure will give the state health department director the ability to issue a statewide “standing order” for medication used to reverse the effects of drug overdoses. Greitens’ spokesman, Parker Briden, said that will allow Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams to give pharmacists statewide the ability to provide the medication.
Other bills Greitens vetoed Friday include one that would have “removed the ability of Missouri National Guard soldiers to forward a complaint against a commanding officer to the Governor,” according to a release sent by Greitens’ office.
He also nixed a lengthy bill related to crime and courts. He said it was unconstitutional because of the wide range of issues it addressed.
As the May deadline to approve bills approaches, lawmakers sometimes will include a variety of measures in a single bill that appears likely to pass in an attempt to get their legislation signed into law. However, bills in Missouri are required to cover one subject.
The crime and courts legislation that Greitens vetoed would require the attorney general and administration commissioner to report to lawmakers every month how much the state is spending on legal settlements and judgments, among a laundry list of other changes.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday that she’s “disappointed” Greitens vetoed the bill, which she said also was “designed to assist Missouri’s prosecutors and law enforcement by allowing my office to conduct audits when public corruption is suspected.”
The measure also would have allowed audits at the request of prosecuting and circuit attorneys and law enforcement to investigate “improper government activities, including official misconduct, fraud, misappropriation, mismanagement, waste of resources, or a violation of state or federal law, rule, or regulation.”
“It was the strongest piece of ethics legislation that made it to his desk this session,” Galloway said. “When public officials violate the public trust and steal from those they are sworn to serve, they must be held accountable.”