House member all by himself in pushing for votes to override veto

A Marietta Republican stood alone in his attempt to get the state House of Representatives to vote to override a veto Monday.

“Zero-based budgeting’s time has come,” state Rep. Bobby Franklin argued in his failed bid to get a House vote on a state Senate veto override from last week. “This whole House has the obligation to take this up.”

The rest of the House saw it differently, handing Franklin a 164-1 loss in his effort. Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, instead assigned the matter to the House Rules Committee as promised Thursday. The Senate voted unanimously that same day to override one of Gov. Sonny Perdue's last vetoes before leaving office.

The zero-based budgeting bill would have required state departments and agencies to justify all their spending every few years instead of building on existing budgets. When Perdue vetoed the bill, which was approved during the 2010 legislative session without a dissenting vote cast in either the House or Senate, he said it would have been too expensive to implement to justify the results.

Such challenges to a speaker's ruling are rare, happening perhaps once every year or so.

But Franklin often remains a sole voice on issues he feels passionately about, especially when it comes to limiting government. This time, though, the lopsided vote does not indicate a lack of support for zero-based budgeting.

House leaders prefer to focus on House Bill 33, their own zero-based budgeting bill under consideration this year. It is expected to pass easily, as is a companion bill promised in the Senate.