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Texplainer: How Often Does Perry Veto Bills?

Gov. Rick Perry is not shy when it comes to using his veto pen.

House Speaker Joe Straus, left, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at a post-session press conference on May 31, 2011.


Welcome to The Texas Tribune's "Texplainer" series, where we answer questions from readers like you. 

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Hey, Texplainer: Just how often does Perry put his veto pen to paper?

Gov. Rick Perry is not shy when it comes to using his veto power.

In 2001, his first term as governor, he set a record with the most bills vetoed in a single session. That year, Perry vetoed 82 bills and signed 1,913 bills. So far, that's still the record.

As he reviews the stack of bills the 82nd Legislature approved, Perry has only vetoed one bill and has signed 275. Under the Texas Constitution — Article 4, Section 14 — the governor has 10 days, not including Sundays, to sign or send a bill back to legislators with his objections. But if it is sent to the governor on sine die or fewer than 10 days before the legislative session ends, the governor has 20 days, not including Sundays, to sign or veto the bill.

The governor has until June 19 — the 20th day after final adjournment — to sign or veto all bills passed during the regular legislative session. If a bill is not signed or vetoed, it automatically becomes law.

The first, and currently only bill vetoed in the 82nd legislation, was HB 2403. The measure would have made online retailers, like Amazon, collect sales taxes.

In a statement released May 31, Perry said he feared the measure "risks significant unintended consequences," and said he wanted additional investigation of the potential effects. Shortly after the veto, during the current special legislative session, the House approved an amendment to a fiscal matters bill that would effectively reverse his veto.

Perry is expected to sign or veto more bills as June 19 draws closer.

For a complete list of the bills passed, vetoed or not signed this legislative session, visit the governor’s website.

Visit the Texas Politics website for a chart showing signed and vetoed bills from 1989-2009.

Bottom line: Perry has used his veto pen liberally in the past, and he has until Sunday before the ink on the 82nd legislative session dries.

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State government 82nd Legislative Session Budget Griffin Perry Rick Perry Texas House of Representatives Texas Legislature Texas Senate