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NC legislature won't hold votes at Raleigh return next week

North Carolina General Assembly
Nick de la Canal

The North Carolina General Assembly won't work next week when it's scheduled to reconvene, legislative officials said Friday, setting aside, for now, any attempts to override new vetoes by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The House and Senate plan floor meetings for Tuesday — part of a series of brief work periods lined up every month through December. Republican legislative leaders agreed to that schedule when their chief work session for the year ended July 1.

The consideration of override votes on Cooper's vetoes is among the list of potential matters they can consider during these short intervals in Raleigh. Cooper vetoed four bills last week.

But the House won't hold recorded votes next week, the chief of staff for Speaker Tim Moore told state representatives in a Friday email. And the Senate doesn't anticipate similar votes, according to a spokesperson for Senate leader Phil Berger.

That means floor meetings Tuesday and before the legislature's departure, Thursday will be administrative, with very few lawmakers in attendance. Another three-day session is scheduled for Aug. 23.

None of Cooper's vetoes have been overridden since early 2019 after fellow Democrats won back enough General Assembly seats so Republican majorities were no longer veto-proof.

The four bills that Cooper vetoed last week include one that would demand sheriffs learn the immigration status of their jails’ inmates and make an effort to hold them for federal agents. Cooper vetoed a similar measure in 2019.

The quick meetings in Raleigh next week also signal that no agreement has been reached on legislation that would expand Medicaid in the state to hundreds of thousands of low-income adults through the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The House and Senate passed competing Medicaid measures in June but didn't work out a compromise. Despite hopes from some like Cooper for a quick agreement, negotiations have receded since lawmakers adjourned three weeks ago, following the passage of a state budget.

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