State-By-State Guide To Gubernatorial Veto Types

by John Haughey // Nov 14, 2016 State & Local

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All 50 states give the governor the authority to approve or veto a bill approved by the legislature with the stroke (or strikethrough) of a pen, sometimes without explanation or recourse. How much veto authority state constitutions give governors can influence the law-making process from start to finish.

For a brief state-by-state outline of gubernatorial veto types, time frames and override thresholds. (Days included in time frames exclude Sundays and holidays unless otherwise stated), see below.

Alabama: Governor must veto bills within six days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. For bills passed during the last five days of a regular legislative session, the governor has 10 days after adjournment to sign. If governor chooses not to sign late-arriving and post-adjournment bills, they are “pocket-vetoed.” State Constitution gives governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). While legislators can override a veto in a simple majority vote of both chambers, only the governor can call a special session to do so.

Alaska: Governor has 15 days after legislature adopts a bill to veto it or it automatically becomes law. That time frame is extended to 20 days for bills “transmitted” after legislature adjourns before it automatically becomes law. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Arizona: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 10 days for bills “transmitted” after adjournment before they automatically become law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers.

Arkansas: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 20 days for bills adopted during the last five days of a regular legislative session session or after a legislature adjourns before they automatically become law. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can call a special session to do so.

California: Governor must veto legislation within 12 days of “transmittal” or they automatically become law. However, for bills adopted during the last 12 days of a legislative session and still on the governor’s desk the day the legislature adjourns, usually Aug. 31, the governor has until Sept. 30 to veto before they automatically become law. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can call a special session to do so.

Colorado: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 30 days for bills adopted during the last 10 days of a regular legislative session session or presented after adjournment before they automatically become law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Connecticut: Governor must veto bills within 15 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Delaware: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 30 days for bills submitted during the last 10 days of a legislative session or after the legislature adjourns. Those late-arriving and post-adjournment bills require the governor’s signature within 30 days or they are “pocket-vetoed.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

Florida: Governor must veto bills within 15 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Georgia: Governor must veto bills within six days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 40 days after adjournment before bills automatically becomes law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Hawaii: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 45 days after adjournment before they automatically become law. By State Constitution, the governor cannot veto appropriations for the legislative and judicial branches approved by the legislature. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Idaho: Governor must veto bills within seven days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 10 days for bills presented to the governor during the last seven days of a legislative session or after the legislature adjourns. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can call a special session to do so.

Illinois: Governor must veto bills within 60 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. If a governor rejects a bill, objections must be filed with the state’s secretary of state within that 60-day window. If the legislature has adjourned, those objections are then presented when it next convenes. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. State Constitution also gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

Indiana: Governor must veto bills within seven days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire vetoed bill is kicked back to legislature. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto in a simple majority vote of both chambers.

Iowa: Governor must veto bills within three days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, for bills adopted within the last three days of a regular legislative session or presented to the governor after the legislature adjourns, that time frame is extended to 30 days for the governor to sign or they are “pocket-vetoed.” In a nuance unlike other “pocket-veto” states, every bill delivered to the Iowa governor must be either formally signed or vetoed. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Kansas: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Kentucky: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Legislators can override a veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers, but only the governor can call a special session to reconsider a vetoed bill.

Louisiana: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 20 days for bills adopted during the last 10 days of a regular legislative session or presented to the governor after adjournment. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Maine: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. The governor can “return” specific bills adopted during the last 10 days of a regular legislative session for reconsideration within three days of that same legislature convening. Otherwise, they become law. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. The governor cannot veto “Senate, House and joint orders.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Maryland: Governor must veto bills within six days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 30 days for legislation “transmitted” during the last six days of a regular legislative session or after the legislature adjourns. Legislators have a 20-day window to submit bills to the governor after adjourning, meaning the 30-day post-adjournment time line may not begin until 20 days after legislators leave the state capitol. The state’s Constitution gives the governor a “line-item” veto on budget measures but other constitutional language makes this unnecessary by restricting the legislature’s capacity to add specific appropriations to the governor’s budget. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

Massachusetts: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, bills presented during the last 10 days of a legislative session are “pocket-vetoed” if not signed within 10 days of adjournment. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. State Constitution also gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Michigan: Governor must veto bills within 14 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, bills adopted during the last 14 days of a regular legislative session must be signed by the governor within 14 days of adjournment or they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. By State Constitution, the governor cannot veto appropriations for the legislative and judicial branches approved by the legislature. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Minnesota: Governor must veto bills within three days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, bills adopted during the last 14 days of a regular legislative session must be signed by the governor within 14 days of adjournment or they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Mississippi: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is expanded to 15 days for bills presented to governor within the last five days of a regular session or after adjournment. Bills vetoed by the governor after adjournment must be returned to the legislature within three days of the next session convening. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Missouri: Governor must veto bills within 15 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 45 days for bills adopted during the last 15 days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before automatically becoming law. Governor’s veto authority only applies to appropriation or budget bills. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Montana: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when adopted. State Constitution gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Nebraska: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when adopted. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

Nevada: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 10 days for bills presented within the last 10 days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment. Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire bill is kicked back to legislature. Vetoed bills are automatically returned to the legislature for possible 2/3rd veto override vote the next time legislators convene.

New Hampshire: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. Bills adopted within the last five days of a regular legislative session must be signed by the governor within five days of adjournment or they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire vetoed bill is kicked back to legislature. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

New Jersey: Governor must veto bills within 45 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. If the General Assembly or Senate present the governor with a bill less than 45 days before a recess, that deadline is extended until they next convene. If presented within 45 days of adjournment, the governor has seven days to veto it or it automatically becomes law. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. State Constitution also gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

New Mexico: Governor must veto bills within three days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, for bills adopted during the last three days of a regular legislative session, the governor has 20 days after adjournment to sign or it is “pocket-vetoed.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

New York: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. For bills adopted during the last 10 days of a regular legislative session, the governor has 30 days after adjournment to sign or they are “pocket-vetoed.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

North Carolina: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. If the legislature adjourns for more than 30 days, the governor has 30 days from adjournment to reconvene a special session to reconsider the bill or, on the 40th day after adjournment, it automatically becomes law. Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire vetoed bill is kicked back to legislature. By State Constitution, the governor cannot veto “local bills, appointment bills, redistricting bills and resolutions” approved by the legislature. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

North Dakota: Governor must veto bills within three days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 15 days for bills presented within three days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before they  automatically become law. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Ohio: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Governor’s veto authority only applies to appropriation or budget bills. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers.

Oklahoma: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 15 days for bills presented during the last five days of a regular legislative session. If the governor does not sign bills presented within 15 days of adjournment, they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Oregon: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 30 days for bills presented within the last five days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment or they automatically become law. Governor’s veto authority only applies to budget bills or “emergency clauses.” Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Pennsylvania: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. State Constitution also gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Rhode Island: Governor must veto bills within six days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 10 days for bills presented after a regular legislative session adjourns before they automatically become law. Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire vetoed bill is kicked back to legislature. Legislators can override a veto with a 3/5th vote of both chambers, but only the governor can call convene a special session.

South Carolina: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Governor’s veto authority only applies to appropriation or budget bills. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

South Dakota: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 15 days for bills presented during the last five days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before they automatically become law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Tennessee: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when adopted. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers.

Texas: Governor must veto bills within 10 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 20 days for bills adopted during the last 10 days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before they automatically become law. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Utah: Governor must veto bills within 20 days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law regardless when presented. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Vermont: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. However, bills adopted during the last five days of a regular legislative session must be signed by the governor within three days of adjournment or they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Governor does not have a “line-item” veto, meaning entire bill is kicked back to legislature. Legislators can override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers, but only the governor can convene a special session to do so.

Virginia: Governor must veto bills within a calendar month of the legislature adjourning or they automatically become law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Washington: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 20 days for bills presented within the last five days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before they automatically become law. Governor’s veto authority only applies to appropriation or budget bills. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

West Virginia: Governor must veto bills within five days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 15 days for bills presented after a regular legislative session adjourns before they automatically become law. That post-adjournment time-frame is reduced to five days for budget or appropriations bills. Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. State Constitution also gives the governor an “amendatory” veto, the authority to return a bill with recommendations for amendment(s). Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers.

Wisconsin: Governor must veto bills within six days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. For bills adopted during the last six days of a regular legislative session, the governor has 60 days after adjournment to sign or they are automatically “pocket-vetoed.” Governor has a “reduction” veto that provides the ability to reduce — but not increase — proposed appropriations in a particular line item within any spending bill. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

Wyoming: Governor must veto bills within three days after “transmittal” from legislature or they automatically become law. That time frame is extended to 15 days for bills presented to governor during the last two days of a regular legislative session or after adjournment before they automatically become law. Legislators can call a special session to override a veto with a 2/3rd vote of both chambers.

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