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Lawmakers Who Voted Against Veto Override Dubbed "Flimsy 15"

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Thirteen Republicans and two Democrats are being dubbed the "flimsy 15" by those upset they didn't vote to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 253.
We are going to have tax reform in the state of Missouri. We need it. We deserve it. And we are going to get it.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Thirteen Republicans and two Democrats are being dubbed the "flimsy 15" by those upset they didn't vote to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 253.

Those for and against the controversial tax cut bill blazed a trail through all parts of the state this summer pleading their case. 
 
Republican State Representative Lynn Morris, of Ozark, says he wrestled all summer about his vote during the veto session. In the end, Morris said he voted on behalf of his conscience and his constituents.
 
Morris, who's owned Family Pharmacy since the 70s, says holding out for a better tax reform bill is a label he can live with.

"I have 300 employees in my company." He stood to gain each year from the passage of the bill. "It would have probably saved me a half a million to a million dollars going forward."

But Governor Jay Nixon restricted $400 million from the state budget citing "the significant cost" of the bill.

"That's when I decided to change my vote," says Morris. "I didn't feel like the governor was bluffing. Not just education, but the mental health people, the mentally disabled, the seniors, Meals on Wheels. That he was not going to give that money back which is, I think, a shame."

Now Morris finds himself in the "flimsy 15," made up of mostly Republicans and two Democrats, some are trying to publicly shame for their votes. The contact information for these lawmakers has been shared on websites and over social media. Morris says about 80 percent of the feedback he's gotten has been positive.

"But, there was about 20 percent that certainly didn't like what I did and I respect those people. Some of them are pretty aggressive and threatening. I think it's sad, but we'll pray for those people."

On a conservative St. Louis talk show, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) piled on.

"They we afraid their public schools would suffer, so the government 'educrats' at the trough scared the heck out of these people and they succumbed to the fear."

Morris says he remains a Christian, conservative, small business owning lawmaker who stands behind tax reform, just not in the form of House Bill 253.

"We are going to have tax reform in the state of Missouri. We need it. We deserve it. And we are going to get it."

Jones gave the radio host the answer after he was asked if inability to overturn the veto was a failure of leadership.
 
Morris publicly released two letters Friday -- one to constituents explaining his vote and then another to Governor Nixon demanding the release of the funds Nixon withheld from K-12 schools, higher education and other agencies.
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