Quiet Monday in Raleigh as lawmakers reconvene



(The Center Square) – Action is anticipated this week in the North Carolina General Assembly that could begin to reverse vetoes by the governor.

Lawmakers had brief sessions on Monday, with the Senate adjourning until Thursday morning and the House of Representatives planning to come back Tuesday morning. No action was taken in either lightly-attended chamber on Monday, the first time back for each since Thursday before July 4.

Five bills – on education; building codes; women’s sports; parents, school children and their respective educators; and medical actions permissible for minors and doctors involving gender identity – were rejected by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper last week. The House is expected to have floor votes on Wednesday, though an exact schedule is yet to be announced.

Senate leadership indicated the upper chamber does not expect floor votes on Thursday.

At least one published report expects override votes in the House on Wednesday for the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and gender transitions involving minors.

House Bill 574 would prohibit public middle and high schools, colleges and universities from allowing biological males to participate on female sports teams.

House Bill 808 would would ban gender transition procedures, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones for minors.

Other bills vetoed last week included:

HB 618: The Charter School Review Board would take over responsibility from the State Board of Education for approving, amending, renewing and terminating charter schools, with the goal of streamlining the process.

HB 488: Reorganization of the state Build Code Council would create the Residential Code Council. Amending provisions in the building code and land development regulations were among the other inclusions, as was increasing the cost minimum for applicability of general contractor licensing requirements.

SB 49: The Parents’ Bill of Rights enhances public school transparency, outlines the rights and responsibilities of parents, and installs guardrails on curriculum dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation. Also, the law would subject state employees to disciplinary action if they attempt to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from a parent.

Cooper is a second-term Democrat and is limited by state statute to seek a third consecutive term in 2024. He vetoed five bills last week, has 13 this session, and 88 since taking office in January 2017.

Per state law, the 170-member General Assembly can override gubernatorial vetoes if each chamber has a three-fifths majority in favor – 30 Senate, 72 House if all are present. Republicans occupy that many seats in the chambers, respectively.

Lawmakers are 31-for-31 overriding Cooper vetoes when Republicans had supermajorities and 0-for-13 when they didn’t in between the midterm elections of 2018 and 2022 – counting an attempt by either chamber. All eight attempts to override have carried through both chambers this session.

North Carolina became the last state to permit vetoes in 1996 and had 35 from 1997-2016 prior to Cooper taking office – 19 of which were in former Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s final two years (2011-12).

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