Thursday morning, the North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene after taking several weeks off to take up vetoes from Gov. Roy Cooper.
Having adjourned on June 29 after completing the state budget and passing numerous bills, the House and Senate will come back to order to conduct the business of the people once again.
According to the adjournment resolution passed on June 29, the primary activity lawmakers will be focused on will be the consideration of overriding four of Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes.
It is unclear, however, which bills the legislature intends to pursue veto overrides on, however they have overridden all five of Cooper’s to date. There are four vetoes remaining to consider.
The House and Senate leadership will determine if they have the necessary votes to assure a veto override and proceed accordingly. A veto override takes a three-fifths majority vote to pass.
Other matters that the General Assembly may address while in session beginning Thursday are legislative and gubernatorial appointments, bills in conference committee and bills related to impeachment.
The sessions in the House and Senate are scheduled to begin at 10AM and then recess, with 12PM slated for reconvening.
House Bill 576, “Allow Aerosolization of Leachate” was vetoed by Cooper on June 30. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin), requires the Department of Environmental Quality in certain cases to approve spraying leachate as a means of managing and/or disposing of leachate in a landfill.
In his veto message, Cooper said, “In this bill, the legislature exempts particular technologies that could potentially better ensure the health and safety of people and the environment. Scientists, not the legislature, should decide whether a patented technology can safely dispose of contaminated liquids from landfills. With use of the word “shall,” the legislature mandates a technology winner, limiting future advancements that may provide better protection.”
Another bill that Cooper vetoed awaiting action from the legislature is HB511, “Game Nights/Nonprofit Fund-Raiser.” Sponsored by Rep. Jamie Boles (R-Moore), it would allow nonprofit organizations to serve alcohol during gaming nights, albeit with some restrictions.
Cooper vetoed the bill on July 12, and said that he is not opposed to nonprofits having an occasional game night, but is concerned that the bill might cause “unintended consequences” involving the video poker industry.
A third bill the General Assembly may try to override is HB205, “WC for Inmates/UI & WC/Newsprint Employees.” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph) and has two primary parts. The first provides worker’s compensation coverage for prison inmates, and the second allows Guilford County and local municipal governments to publish legal notices online, versus posting them in newspapers.
In his veto message on July 17, Cooper said he supports the part of the bill dealing with the prison industry, but not the section about government posting legal notices online.
Finally, lawmakers may consider HB140, “Dental Plans Provider Contracts/Transparency” for a veto override. The primary sponsor of the bill was Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham).
The bill dealt with dental insurance fee schedules disclosed by insurers to providers adding companies that write “stand-alone” dental insurance to the list of insurers subject to the disclosure requirements.
Cooper vetoed the bill on July 27, taking issue with an amendment added by Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) that extended the ability for customers to purchase credit insurance such as credit property, life or unemployment insurance on consumer loans to include items such as personal computers.
Cooper’s veto message claims that the bill makes small loans more expensive, which Bishop denies. He says that the bill merely widens the products that can qualify for consumer credit insurance, but only if the customer wants to buy the coverage.