When is a gubernatorial veto not a veto? Apparently when it occurs in cyberspace.
Gov. Mike Leavitt's Web site lists action he has taken on bills the Utah Legislature passed during its recently concluded session. The growing "signed" list has a couple hundred bills but the "vetoed" list had nothing until Friday when two bills — HB85 and SB113 — showed up.
The House bill sponsored by Rep. Neal Hendrickson, D—West Valley, requires passenger vans transporting schoolchildren to meet the same federal safety requirements as school buses. The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Beverly Evans, R—Altamont, modifies the oil and gas severance tax on lands the federal government recently conveyed to the Ute Tribe.
When Leavitt vetoes a bill, he sends a letter to the sponsoring legislator. A reporter's request for the letters elicited a return call from the governor's office saying there are no letters because the bills hadn't been vetoed.
Governor's spokeswoman Bridget Fare said HB85 and SB113 weren't supposed to be on the veto list, and she didn't know how they got there.
The list of vetoed bills disappeared from www.governor.state.ut.us almost instantaneously after the call.
The governor hasn't taken action on the two bills, Fare said.
Or has he? HB85 and SB113 were last seen floating on Leavitt's cyber list of signed bills.