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OVERRIDE OF INFRASTRUCTURE ACT VETO REJECTED

July 18, 2002 – The Senate minority flexed its muscle Thursday and refused to join in voting for an override of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's veto of Sen. Emmett Hansen II's 2001 Infrastructure Maintenance Act of 2001.
With nine majority senators and 10 votes — a two-thirds majority — required for an override, the measure failed.
The bill — which calls for setting aside 15 percent of property taxes to fund street lighting, road and potable water line repair in separate funds for St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island — was passed by the Legislature on a 13-1 vote on June 21, after unanimous approval in the Rules Committee. Turnbull announced on July 6 that he had vetoed the measure.
Hansen said at the time he was not surprised by the governor's action, given that Turnbull had not responded to his repeated telephone calls and letters. But he also predicted an easy override of the veto, given the support the bill had in its earlier progress through the Legislature.
"It's politics, not progress," he said Thursday following the vote.
While he was surprised at his colleagues' action, Hansen said, "I don't take this personally. But I don't see how especially the St. Croix senators cannot support this."
A full report on the activity at Friday's all-day-into-night Senate session will be posted Friday morning in the Source.

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