7 Feb 2008

American Samoan fono seeks override power

3:16 pm on 7 February 2008

American Samoa's House of Representatives has unanimously approved a proposed constitutional amendment to give the Legislature ultimate authority for legislation vetoed by the governor.

At present the override authority rests with the US Secretary of the Interior.

Under the proposed amendment, which has already been passed by the Senate, a bill that is vetoed by the governor can still become law, if the Fono overrides the governor's veto action, by a two thirds majority vote.

The change would mean that any bill approved by the Fono and vetoed by the governor must be signed into law by the governor once the Fono approved the vetoed bill a second time.

At present the Secretary of the Interior makes the final decision on whether a bill vetoed by the governor and again repassed by the Legislature should be approved or rejected.