Tuesday, January 18, 2011

They've Got the Power

Just in case the press needs to be reminded, Bill Haslam is not the boss of the Tennessee General Assembly:

Just in case you have a bit of trouble with 19th Century Legalese, that means that a Governor's veto of a legislative act can be over-ridden by simple majorities in both Houses of the General Assembly-50 votes in the House and 17 in the Tennessee Senate. While that by no means makes a Governor of Tennessee powerless-he or she is still commander-in-chief of the militia, can grant pardons and reprieves, and can appoint a cabinet (and thereby create cabinet departments), and can call extraordinary legislative sessions-it does mean that a Governor not only can't act without legislative approval, it means that he or she has no power at all other than that delegated by the Tennessee Constitution unless the General Assembly allows the Governor to have it. The Legislature has more real power than any Governor in Tennessee should they choose to exercise it, which the previous General Assembly did.

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