Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2010/01/27 16:05
The state Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote Tuesday that the governor has line-item veto power on sections of legislation that place "conditions or restrictions on previously appropriated funds.”
The decision handed down Tuesday ends a legal challenge from Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, and House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa.
"This was never a hostile lawsuit, nor was it an attack on the governor’s constitutional right to line-item veto,” said Benge, R-Tulsa. "We were merely seeking clarification on the proper use of the line-item veto, which we have now received from the courts.
"While we disagree with the ruling, and agree with the dissenting opinion, we respect the court’s decision,” he said.
Legislative leaders filed two lawsuits asking the Supreme Court to decide whether Gov. Brad Henry has the authority after he used the line-item veto to change certain sections of legislation that affected agency budgets. Attorneys for Coffee and Benge argued that the governor only had the power to veto portions of appropriation bills.