The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 22, 2012

Our View: Piling it on

The Joplin Globe

— What do energy investments in Iran, increased penalties for harming service dogs, 911 sales taxes and disabled parking spots have in common?

Absolutely nothing. So, good for Gov. Jay Nixon in vetoing this bill that had so many provisions piled together, it was unrecognizable from its original form, which was “for the sole purpose of restructuring statutes based on executive branch reorganizations.”

Nixon said he didn’t necessarily object to the mishmash of new laws that would have gone into effect had he signed the bill, but he believed it would have been a violation of the state constitution to allow it.

We agree. For too long, the practicing of including add-ons to legislation has been troublesome. It gives the appearance of last-minute maneuvers meant to either kill a bill or sneak action through without debate.

The bill was “a sanctuary for orphaned ideas in search of safe transport to becoming law,” Nixon told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“But it cannot be. And while my action today will unfortunately preclude the enactment of certain important provisions contained in this bill, it will preserve the constitutional safeguards for accountability in the legislative process.”

We would encourage the governor to set a precedent with his actions, even though it will likely mean there are other bills he will have to veto before July 14 — the cutoff for vetoing a bill before it becomes a law.

The Missouri Constitution is clear: “No bill shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title.”

It’s a provision that guarantees more transparency in government.