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HomeNewsArchivesNews Brief: Renee Opts Out, Jones Won't Call Session

News Brief: Renee Opts Out, Jones Won't Call Session

Dec. 1, 2004 — Hours after announcing a full Senate session would be held Dec. 15 to consider several recent vetoes by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, Senate President David Jones canceled the session. (See "Senate to Meet to Discuss Overrides of Turnbull Vetoes".)
Jones said late Wednesday afternoon a decision by Sen. Luther Renee Wednesday morning to withdraw his signature from the petition led to his decision to cancel the session.
"Since Senator Renee has withdrawn his signature from the petition the meeting will no longer be held," unless more senators sign on to the petition, Jones said.
He was clear he would not hold the meeting unless eight senators sign for it, as required by law.
Jones said he is not in favor of having a lame-duck session, however, if the majority of senators wanted to do so he would have no choice but to comply.
"I am still the president of the 25th Legislature, so I still have to abide by its rules," Jones said, adding he would not boycott a full session if the majority of the senators petitioned for it.
When contacted earlier in the day, Jones said he was on vacation but refused to say where.
The petition now bears the names of Sens. Norman Jn Baptiste, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, Carlton Dowe, Shawn-Michael Malone, Usie Richards, Celestino White and Lorraine L. Berry, who initiated the drive for the special session.
Berry, Donastorg and Malone were three of the senators whose bills — the Omnibus Justice Act of 2004, the Financial Services Bill, the Animal Anti-Cruelty Bill and the School Vandalism Bill — had been vetoed.
Calls to Renee on his decision to withdraw his name were not returned Wednesday afternoon, nor were calls to Berry for comment on the cancellation.

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