North Carolina lawmakers stay out of Raleigh for another week as budget, overrides remain

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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The North Carolina General Assembly is delaying formal work for another week while budget negotiations and summer travel delay actions that Republicans want to accomplish before this year’s chief legislative session ends.

Aides to House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger confirmed Monday that their respective chambers won’t take votes or hold committee meetings this week.

This means the fate of five bills vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper earlier this month — three of them that include restrictions related to LGBTQ+ youth — remains pending.

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Moore delayed override votes scheduled for last week on four of the vetoed bills parked in his chamber. Moore had described challenges to ensure all Republican colleagues could be in Raleigh to override a veto successfully when lawmakers were traveling.

GOP leaders have little wiggle room in both chambers to complete an override when their party’s seat margins are exactly veto-proof when all lawmakers are present.

The House override votes were then delayed to this Wednesday. But now with no recorded votes this week, they will be pushed back further.

The Senate, which hasn’t held recorded votes since June 29, also had initially planned to conduct business Wednesday. But Berger said last week that was contingent on the House taking some override votes, which now won’t happen.

Both chambers already took a break during the week that included July 4. Lawmakers had aimed to get a two-year state budget enacted by July 1, but negotiations over tax reductions and reserves have led to delays. Berger and another House negotiator said it could be August before a budget is finalized.

State law sets no limits on when annual sessions must end.