Veto Debate Entering Week Two In Jackson - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Veto Debate Entering Week Two In Jackson

The pressure is on, the stakes are high and who will prevail is still anyone's guess.

Right now, some members of the state senate are pushing for enough votes to override Governor Haley Barbour's recent veto of a tax bill.

Senator Tommy Moffatt of Gautier says there are legislators trying just as hard to keep that from happening.

With so much uncertainty about who will vote how, he says it's not clear which side has the advantage.

"The first house right there is gone. All of them are gone," said Senator Tommy Moffat.

He can only see vacant lots where his neighbors homes once stood.

He says with all the money recovering from Katrina will cost Mississippi, now is not the time to start cutting taxes.

"The state is looking for money. We're asking for money.We're begging for money," he said. "Then we're also in the same voice going to say we're going to cut taxes that we're giving back to our cities. Our cities need it."

A two-thirds majority is needed to override Governor Barbour's veto.

With 52 members in the senate, Moffatt says those standing with the governor must muster 18 votes.

"I know there were 15 of us who voted against the bill initially, I think all 15 of them are going to vote to sustain the veto. We think we may have had two more. We don't know," he said. "So right now you're dealing with one or two votes one way or the other. Both groups are out trying to make those people go the way they want to see them."

Right now, Moffatt says it seems the senate's ultimate decision could come down to a few swing votes.

"There are 3 or 4 people who are undecided and I give them credit. They are trying to look at the information that they have and the figures that they have, and trying to make a decision that helps them in their district and what they want to do. So yes, there is a lot of pressure being put on people.

Senator Tommy Moffatt says he's for raising tobacco taxes and lowering the grocery tax but just not right now.

By Danielle Thomas

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