Nixon vetoes 'religious freedom' and sales tax on out-of-state-vehicle purchase laws

Those were two of the 10 bills Nixon vetoed, along with 12 bills that he signed.

At a Capitol news conference, the governor acknowledged getting more than 10,000 e-mails and letters about the bill that would have let employers decline to provide insurance coverage for certain family planning, birth control and abortion services and medications, based on that employer's religious beliefs.

Nixon said Missouri law already provides strong protections for those employers, and the veto was necessary because the Legislature's passage of Senate Bill 749 also gave insurance companies the power to deny that kind of coverage — even if an employer and employee wanted it.

"That would be a step backward," Nixon told reporters. "We want families making those decisions ... not insurance companies."

The governor said he understood the vehicle sales tax bill would save Missouri communities money they lost when the state Supreme Court ruled earlier this year — in a Greene County case — that the "use" tax on out-of-state purchases could not be imposed unless the people had authorized it.

"More than 90 cities and 40 counties have approved it," Nixon reminded reporters.

But the Legislature's bill "attempts to impose a new tax" where citizens have not approved it and, Nixon said, his veto "protects the rights of Missouri voters."

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