Gov. Nathan Deal has begun the 40-day bill review and signing period that follows the legislative session each year. He can veto bills and even budget line-items but is expected to do so sparingly if at all.
The Governor’s staff has been busy reviewing bills passed during since the session ended on Thursday.
Deal probably won’t veto many partly because the GOP holds all statewide offices. But it’s also because he’s told lawmakers what bills he will sign, says spokesman Brian Robinson.
“Because of the work the Governor does on the front end with House and Senate leadership but also rank and file members in both chambers, we try to let them know what he will and won’t sign," he said. "So that the preference is that a bill he won’t sign never gets to his desk.”
The Governor approaches the review period in two ways, he says.
“First there’s a policy review to make sure this is in line with what the Governor thinks this is the best direction for the state to take, that is measures up well with his conservative governing philosophy," he said. "And then second, there’s a technical review where our executive counsel goes through these bills and makes sure there’s no conflict with other Georgia laws.”
Georgia’s governor is one of the few with line-item budget veto power. But Robinson says he may not exercise that right because the $19 billion state budget lawmakers passed was so similar to what Gov. Deal presented in January.