General Assembly plans weekend session to override Cooper vetoes

Josh Chapin Image
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Republican-controlled General Assembly is planning rare weekend floor sessions to handle two vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

House Speaker Tim Moore said Monday he expected the House and Senate to return for veto-override debates and votes this Saturday. Moore says conflicting summer schedules made Saturday best.

Last Friday, Cooper vetoed bills that alter North Carolina ballot language for constitutional referenda and a state Supreme Court race this fall.

"The problem with the captions is not that they say constitutional amendment, it's the language of the amendments that's very misleading," said House Democratic leader Darren Jackson. "They don't reflect what the actual law does and that's the problem of not posting the whole constitutional amendment on the ballot."

One prevents a Supreme Court hopeful who switched parties just before candidate filing from having any party label next to his name on the ballot.

Jackson contended Republicans are meeting Saturday so it's harder for the candidate to sue because of the label change with a ballot printing deadlines approaching.

"If they wait until this weekend to act, anybody who would want to challenge would only have Monday and part of Tuesday to file a lawsuit, get into court, get it heard before a judge and get an injunction. It just cuts down the time," Jackson said. "It's a bad process. I hope people will see through and that they will do their due diligence on the constitutional amendments."

Moore said that' issue was not a consideration.

On Friday, Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, issued a joint statement vowing to override the governor's vetoes:

"The governor's outlandish claim that labeling proposed constitutional amendments as 'Constitutional Amendments,' and conforming the filing requirements for judicial candidates to every other public office in the state, is somehow "rigging the system" is a poor attempt to protect political gamesmanship by his party. We will override these vetoes to deliver clear and consistent voter information on ballots this November."