LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: HOUSE OVERRIDES GOVERNOR’S VETO OF BUDGET

AANC News , Legislative Updates ,

LEGISLATIVE REPORT - August 30, 2019

At a 8:30 a.m. session this morning, the House voted to override the Governor’s veto of the state budget, as well as his veto of House Bill 555: Medicaid Transformation. The votes were 55-9 and 54-10 respectively, with nearly half of the membership absent. Most of the Democratic members were missing and argued loudly that they were told there would be no votes held this morning, which the Republican House leadership denies.

 

The budget stalemate has dragged on since June 28th, with the House’s Republican majority attempting without success to convince a sufficient number of Democrats to vote with them in overriding the Governor’s veto. Because the override vote is always “live” when the House is in session, Democratic members have been diligent about attending each session, going so far as to miss family vacations and legislative conferences, and - in at least one case - coming in during cancer treatment. The word on Jones Street this morning is that Minority Leader Darren Jackson told his caucus members that there would be no votes at the 8:30 session, which was planned to convene and then recess until this afternoon. Republican leaders, seeing that there were few Democrats in the chamber, decided to call the override vote, despite loud protests from the few minority members present. Whether Minority Leader Jackson was told there would be no votes this morning or not will certainly be hotly debated in the days and weeks to come, but for now legislative action shifts to the Senate. With only one Democratic vote needed, the Senate Republicans are expected to be able to override the vetoes as well. When the Senate vote may be called has yet to be determined.

 

All of this happened less than 12 hours after State Senator Dan Bishop was declared the winner of the hotly-contested NC09 Congressional special election (along with State Rep. Greg Murphy, who won the NC03 Congressional election easily), not to mention the ongoing court-ordered redistricting process. Tensions are high and heads are still spinning at the legislature this morning. We will keep you up-to-date on any further developments, though it would be hard to imagine a more eventful 24 hours in North Carolina politics anytime soon.

 

This Legislative Update is a publication of Kochanek Law Group and is a member benefit of AANC. Any use or reproduction of this report is limited to AANC and its members.