RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After falling just one vote short in their efforts Monday night to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a North Carolina back-to-classroom bill, Republicans in the Senate say they are going to vote Wednesday on reconsidering the veto override.
A North Carolina legislator says he wasn’t on the Senate floor for the close veto override vote on legislation mandating the reopening of public schools because he had to work for his full-time employer.
Hoke County Democrat Ben Clark got a leave of absence for Monday’s session. He was one of three Senate Democrats who had voted last month for the legislation that Cooper had vetoed.
The Senate override likely would have been successful had two of the three Democrats stuck to supporting the measure. Only one did.
The bill’s chief sponsor lamented “flip-flopping senators” after the unsuccessful override vote.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Senate will vote to reconsider the veto override. If that motion is successful, a date will be set for a new vote to override Cooper’s veto.
“If the motion to reconsider the veto override is successful, Sen. Clark will have the opportunity to provide the critical vote necessary to advance his bill over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto,” a news release from N.C. Senate President Pro-Tempore Phil Berger said.
A motion to reconsider will succeed if a simple majority, which is 26 senators, votes to support it.
Any eventual override would have had to be successful in both chambers for the measure to become law.
GOP lawmakers had said the bill is needed because students have fallen behind in academics since schools shifted to virtual classes in the pandemic.
Cooper says he wants children back in classrooms but that the bill would threaten public health.