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Veto override challenges still expected, but on hold

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(The Center Square) – Veto override votes in the North Carolina House of Representatives are expected next week at the earliest.

None were taken Wednesday when it was thought a challenge might be brought to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s rejections of bills protecting women’s sports and tied to medical gender transition. The chamber reconvened Monday, albeit briefly, and more than a dozen lawmakers had excused absences on the third day back.

Five bills were rejected by Cooper last week, bringing his total for the session to 13. The other three were on education; building codes; and parents, school children and their respective educators.

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.

Senate leadership said it would not take votes this week. It reconvenes Thursday.

State leaders are also past due on enacting a state budget. Since July 1 when the fiscal year began, the state has operated on the most recent spending plan while awaiting a new one.

It is not unprecedented, though rules have changed through the years. This is the seventh year since the law was changed so that government functions did not stop and instead went to the previous year’s funding plan.

North Carolina had gone multiple years without new budgets when Cooper, earlier in his tenure, refused to sign the fiscal documents passed by Republican majority chambers.

Wednesday’s activities in Raleigh included a press conference where Democrats, including 2024 gubernatorial candidate Josh Stein, called out the GOP for the delay. The General Assembly earlier this year surprised many with a change in stance, opting for Medicaid expansion but only if the governor signs the budget.

Medicaid expansion impacts about 600,000 of the state’s roughly 10.7 million population.

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