United States

Bill with near-unanimous support vetoed in North Carolina

(The Center Square) – Taking a stand for those of low-income and possibly encountering unfair treatment in litigation, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a veto to legislation for which only one General Assembly member objected.

And he’s a Republican.

The second-term Democrat said of Recording of Court-Filed Documents, “This bill creates legal ambiguity regarding when eviction orders become effective and may harm low-income individuals by making it harder for them to appeal as indigent in small claims court.”

Rep. Kelly Hastings, R-Gaston, was against an amendment changing $500 to $1,000 as the threshold for “willful and wanton injury to real property” being a Class I felony rather than a Class 1 misdemeanor. He was part of a 115-0 second reading vote.

The amendment passed 113-1 in the House of Representatives and the Senate concurred 44-0 on what was filed as Senate Bill 445.

For Cooper, it’s veto No. 102 of his seven-plus years in office. All 45 of them that the General Assembly has tried to overturn while holding a three-fifths majority of Republicans have been successful.

Cooper stopped short of a veto and allowed the Regulatory Reform Act of 2024, filed as Senate Bill 607, to become law without his signature after 10 days. He cited legislative interference with the charter and bylaws of the North Carolina Railroad, a private railroad corporation.

In a statement Cooper said, “This isn’t about improving transportation for the people of North Carolina, it’s just another unconstitutional power grab by Republicans. Article VIII of the North Carolina Constitution protects private businesses from this type of legislative interference in their internal governance.”

The governor signed a dozen pieces of legislation.

Senate Bill 332, 2023 Appropriations Act Changes, is attached to public school teacher raises that were part of the budget agreed to in the fall. Senate Bill 357, Adjustments to the 2023 Appropriations Act, responds to federal funding changes and will keep childcare centers open for a limited time.

On both of those bills, Cooper said lawmakers fiscally didn’t do enough.

The other 10 bills signed are Senate Bill 425, HHS Omnibus; Senate Bill 303, Various Court Changes; Senate Bill 565, Revise Automatic Expunction; House Bill 98, Right to Try Individualized Treatments; House Bill 591, Modernize Sex Crimes; House Bill 593, Various General Local Laws; Senate Bill 527, ABC Omnibus 2023-24; Senate Bill 559, Charter Schools/Pension/ESOP; House Bill 250, Public Safety/Other Changes; Senate Bill 802, C-PACE Program.

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