In a surprise but welcome development, Gov. Roy Barnes has vetoed the ticket-scalping bill.
As a legislator, Barnes was sympathetic to scalping, so many expected him not to follow his predecessor's veto example after the bill passed by huge margins in both chambers this year. Gov. Zell Miller struck down scalping bills twice during his tenure.
Barnes' reasons for his veto show that since becoming governor, he's learned more about the issue. He noted the bill would allow a handful of scalpers to buy up tickets and force higher prices on consumers. He rightly added that would "inevitably restrict our state's first-class sports and cultural events to a privileged few."
Legalized scalping, for instance, could put Augusta Lynx tickets out of reach for many fans with limited incomes.
Another problem with scalping is that it's like bootlegging albums. When tickets to popular events are sold at more than face value, the performers -- whether they be athletes or entertainers -- miss out on the increased revenue, as does the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center complex.
Although we applaud the governor's veto, he's not out of the woods. The new state constitution allows for an override vote next January and given the huge margins by which the bill passed (unanimous in the Senate), there's a real chance that could happen unless the governor can talk enough lawmakers into upholding his veto. Let's hope he does.
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