Beebe Vetoes With Praise, Calls Darr's Signature Usurpation

Feb 26, 2013

A bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks may still have a chance, even after the Governor vetoed it Tuesday.

Governor Mike Beebe may have vetoed Representative Andy Mayberry’s 20-week abortion ban, but not before singing the Hensley Republican’s praises for asking Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr not to sign it while the Governor was out of the state.

“That showed a lot of character and class on his part and I wanted everybody to understand that I think he deserves a shout-out and deserves the admiration of everybody, whether they’re for his bill or against his bill, and however they feel on that issue, Mr. Mayberry deserves all our respect,” Beebe told reporters.

The Arkansas Constitution passes the reigns to the next in command when the Governor crosses the state border and Darr said he would have signed Mayberry’s bill. After praising Mayberry, the Governor criticized Darr for signing another bill while he was away.

“That is totally inappropriate for him to sign it. You know, I always thought we had a pretty decent relationship, obviously I’ll be much more careful – you can’t turn your back now. And so, people that are going to do stuff like that, you have to watch, you can’t turn your back on them. You know, it just points out how classy Mr. Mayberry is,” Beebe said.

Darr fired back in a written statement saying he signed the bill that made a list of concealed weapon permit holders private because he “felt strongly that the privacy of Arkansan’s personal information deserved its [the bill’s] immediate attention.” Had it been left unsigned the bill would have gone into effect on Monday rather than Friday. Darr also said he respects the state constitution and the office of the Governor but was acting in the interests of the 130,000 Arkansans on the list.

Meanwhile, Mayberry’s bill may get another chance; the state constitution allows the Legislature to override a veto with a simple majority in both the House and Senate.  Mayberry said in an Arkansas Republican House Caucus YouTube video that he intends to seek an override.