The Veto and Resolutions

An area not addressed by this history, but worth study, is the use of the veto on joint resolutions. Joint resolutions do not require gubernatorial approval though it appears that at least some were sent to governors and either signed or vetoed. In some cases the legislature responded as if this was indeed a veto and held roll call votes on whether to override (see House Journal, 1915, pp. 258-260, for example).

Yet Chap. II, Sec. 11 of the Constitution restricts the veto to bills and does not mention resolutions. Indeed, we currently treat resolutions as not requiring gubernatorial action. In some cases, it is possible that a resolution was actually an attempt to enact legislation without going through the bill process. In that case it might be eligible for a veto. For a possible example see Governor Lee Emerson’s veto of Joint House Resolution 53 that attempted to establish a mechanism for setting highway standards (House Journal 1951, pp. 820-821). Another possible example is Governor Richard Snelling’s veto of Joint Senate Resolution 45 relating to the leasing of State-owned land in Vergennes (House Journal, 1978, p. 685. The legislature quickly responded by enacting a law addressing the leasing of State-owned land in Vergennes). The Vermont Supreme Court has, at least once, looked at the nature of resolutions versus legislation (see Kellogg v. Page). Again, this is an area that needs further study, but for this history we have not included vetoes of joint resolutions.

This page was last updated: 2014-11-06