General Assembly overrides two vetoes by Governor Cooper

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Saturday, August 4, 2018
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General Assembly overrides two vetoes by Governor Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Republican-controlled General Assembly has made quick work of passing two laws related to language on North Carolina ballots this fall despite the formal objections of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

House Bill 3 strips power away from a state commission, comprised of two Democrats and one Republican, by keeping it from writing captions explaining constitutional amendments.

"They would use the ballot as an expression of a political opinion rather than simply to inform the people that they were voting on a constitutional amendment," explained Republican Rep. David Lewis, who represents Harnett County.

A group of protesters gathered outside, many waving signs and chanting, with one even wearing a costume.

"Now they're putting laws on the books that ask us to vote on things we don't understand. The governor reasonably vetoed it," said Scott Huler, who dressed up as "Berger King," a shot at Republican State Senate Leader Phil Berger and his colleagues.

Senate Bill 3 prevents judicial candidates who switched parties less than 90 days before filing from having their party affiliation listed alongside their name on the ballot.

"We expected it. The whole thing is an exercise I thought in power-grabbing, and so we knew where it was going anyhow," said Democratic Senator Dan Blue, who represents Wake County.

The focus now shifts to possible legal challenges, a point Republicans immediately addressed following the votes.

In a joint statement from State House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Berger, they shared their expectation that, "Democrats will try to use absurd legal theories to convince an activist judge to prevent voters from deciding on amendments to their own constitution."

Following the votes, Governor Roy Cooper released a statement on the veto overrides:

"This is about falsely and unconstitutionally misleading voters and crippling the checks and balances that are the foundation of our democracy. It is shameful that legislators have spent their time deceiving North Carolinians and attempting to rip up our constitution instead of improving public education and growing our economy."