Today is the big day, dear reader. You already know what’s going on because we wrote about it two days ago — see Tennessee Bible Bill Battle Boils. Governor Bill Haslam had vetoed a controversial bill that would have made the Holy Bible the official state book of Tennessee, and now the state legislature is going to try to override that veto.
This morning, in the Tennessean of Nashville, Tennessee, the state capital, we found this headline: House to vote on overriding Bible bill veto. The newspaper has a comments feature, but there aren’t any comments yet.
Most of their article is a history of veto override voting in Tennessee, and we’re going to skip that. In Tennessee, a simple majority in both houses is all that’s required to override a veto. A few excerpts from the news story should be sufficient, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:
The latest override attempt — expected today — comes just six days after the Haslam sent a letter to House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, in which he said the measure trivializes the Bible and violates the state and federal constitutions, a point made by Attorney General Herbert Slatery in a 2015 opinion.
Today’s the day! Let’s read on:
In 2015, the House passed the Bible bill by a 55-38 margin — just five votes above the amount needed for passage. Earlier this month, the Senate approved the bill with a 19-8 vote — two more than the necessary threshold. It is not usual for some lawmakers to change their votes after a governor vetoes a bill.
Exciting, huh? This is our last excerpt:
The House is expected to take up the Bible bill override effort during its 9 a.m. floor session. If the chamber succeeds, the Senate will need to take up the issue. Today is expected to be the final day of the 2016 legislative session.
Wowie — this is the only day available. It’s now or never! Well, not never. If the veto is sustained, the bible bill’s champions can try again next year.
We’ll be following this closely all day, and if there’s more news, we’ll post it here. Stay tuned to this blog!
Update: Hot news! This was posted by WVLT-TV in Knoxville, and the headline says it all: Tennessee House fails to override veto on Bible bill.
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