RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – Gov. Roy Cooper had a busy Friday afternoon, signing 11 bills into law and letting two more become law without his signature but then taking out the veto stamp on two others.
You know how this has been going: The General Assembly, with Republicans holding a new supermajority, has overridden 10 of his vetoes this session, including a record six in one day.
There are for now three more on the calendar for the House and Senate to consider on Wednesday. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said his chamber’s votes on two bills that Cooper vetoed last week – the Senate has dibs on one – might slip to Thursday, because he has to make sure who is attending the sessions.
Republicans gained the supermajority in March, when Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County stunningly flipped from a Democrat to a Republican, which erased the 1-vote edge Democrats had against the required three-fifths votes. The GOP already had 30 of the 50 votes in the Senate.
Friday’s vetoes were both House-originating bills, which means Moore’s caucus will get the first shot to override those as well.
Cooper nixed House Bill 618, the “Charter School Review Board” bill, and House Bill 488, “Code Council Reorg. and Var. Code Amend” because he says both go too far and give so much power to lawmakers that they violate the state constitution.
“The North Carolina Constitution clearly gives the State Board of Education the oversight authority for public schools, including charter schools,” Cooper said about HB 618. “This bill is a legislative power grab that turns that responsibility over to a commission of political friends and extremists appointed by Republican legislators, making it more likely that faulty or failing charter schools will be allowed to operate and shortchange their students.
“Oversight of charter schools should be conducted by education experts, not partisan politicians.”
But he was more precise in his criticism of HB 488, which changes the make-up of oversight commissions and how they operate, which Cooper’s office says violates the McCrory v. Berger ruling that ensures the governor’s role for appointments under the separation of powers.
This bill “requires board members to undergo Senate confirmation and takes away the governor’s ability to remove an appointee,” which his office’s release said violates that separation of power clause.
But Cooper says there’s more to it than violating the constitution “by rigging the way rules are made.
“This bill stops important work to make home construction safer from disaster and more energy efficient, and ultimately will cost homeowners and renters more money,” he said. “The bill also imperils North Carolina’s ability to qualify for FEMA funds by freezing residential building code standards.”
The bills he signed
The bills Cooper signed were mostly technical and noncontroversial:
- House Bill 813: “The Pretrial Integrity Act.”
- House Bill 790: “Innocence Inquiry Commission Provisions.“
- House Bill 34: “Protect Those Who Serve and Protect Act.“
- House Bill 627: “On-Site Wastewater Rules Implementation.“
- House Bill 605: “School Threat Assessment Teams.“
- House Bill 344: “Mental Health Lic. Fair Practice Stds.
- Senate Bill 389: “Parent Consent to Donate Blood/Tech Correct.
- House Bill 815: “The Loving Homes Act.“
- Senate Bill 135: “Registered Vet. Tech. Modification.“
- Senate Bill 45: “CADC Supervision Requirements.“
- Senate Bill 507: “Chiropractic Preceptorship Modifications.“
2 become law
These two bills he didn’t like well enough to sign or dislike enough to veto will become law on their prescribed dates:
- Senate Bill 246: “Property Owners Protection Act.“
- Senate Bill 171: “Department of Public Safety Agency Bill-AB.