North Carolina GOP bars promotion of certain beliefs in state government, 1 of 5 veto overrides

Jun 27, 2023, 11:54 AM

FILE - Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to The Associated Press in a year-end inter...

FILE - Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to The Associated Press in a year-end interview at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Dec. 14, 2022. On Friday, June 16, 2023, Cooper vetoed GOP legislation that would ban the promotion of certain beliefs that some lawmakers have likened to critical race theory in state government workplaces. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum, File)

(AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature swept five bills into law Tuesday with veto overrides, placing new limits on likened to critical race theory.

The measures, which also address consumer loans and local government finances, became law after a succession of House votes with margins large enough to overcome Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s formal vetoed objections earlier this month. The Senate already voted over the past week to override vetoes on each of these bills.

The state constitution deems an override successful if at least three-fifths of the members in each chamber present and voting agree to enact the bill anyway despite the governor’s objections.

The overrides exemplify the expanded political muscle of Republicans after electoral seat gains last fall and a House Democrat’s party switch in April gave them exact veto-proof majorities in each chamber for the first time since late 2018. Cooper had been able to block several dozen GOP measures over the previous four years with vetoes because there were enough Democrats supporting his efforts.

Several of Tuesday’s override votes included support from a few Democrats. Still, Republicans needed to ensure that enough of their party colleagues were in attendance to complete overrides.

Among the bills enacted Tuesday is the legislature’s annual farm bill, which contains more than 30 provisions such as penalties for cutting down timber, waiting periods for regulators to inspect veterinarians’ offices and the establishment of an official “Farmers Appreciation Day” in November.

Cooper’s farm bill veto came Friday. He said the measure would weaken the regulation of wetlands that help control flooding and pollution. His administration and environmental groups have said the bill’s language, when combined with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, would leave about half of the state’s wetlands unprotected.

Republicans and their allies blunted the impact of the bill’s language on wetlands, saying it would affect largely affect isolated terrain that rarely floods and align standards with federal law.

Another now-enacted law that takes effect in December bans trainers of state employees from advancing concepts to workers such as that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or to believe they should feel guilty for past actions committed by people of the same race or sex. It also would prohibit hiring managers for state agencies, community colleges and the University of North Carolina system from compelling applicants for policy-making jobs to reveal their personal or political beliefs as a condition of employment.

In his veto message, Cooper said the bill attempts to suppress workplace discussions related to diversity, equity and inclusion that can reveal “unconscious bias we all bring to our work and our communities.” But supports of the bill said it actually encourages a diverse set of beliefs within public agencies.

Other bills enacted over Cooper’s vetoes in part would raise interest rates and late fees on certain amounts of personal consumer finance loans as well as on consumer credit sales, such as when someone buys a car and pays for it in installments or with a finance charge. Cooper said the higher costs, which would take effect in October on new, renewed or modified loans, would harm residents who already are faced with rising costs of living.

Another vetoed bill would permit the state’s Local Government Commission to order withheld a portion of sales tax revenues the state collects for cities and counties that fail to complete annual audits of their accounts. Bill supporters said the measure will promote government accountability. Cooper said it was well-intentioned but would likely hurt the state’s smallest communities.

The House also voted Tuesday to override another veto of a measure that would restrict some state government activities from being directed based on environmental or social justice concerns. But that bill still must be acted again on by the Senate to become law over Cooper’s objections.

National News

Associated Press

Minnesota’s would-be head of cannabis regulation quits amid reports she sold illegal products

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The recently appointed director of Minnesota’s new marijuana regulatory agency Erin Dupree has resigned amid reports that she sold illegal cannabis products in the state. Dupree ran a business that sold products exceeding state limits on THC potency, owed money to former associates and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks during Sen...

Associated Press

Menendez gains a primary opponent as calls for his resignation grow after indictment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey announced on Saturday that he will run against Sen. Robert Menendez in the state’s Democratic primary for Senate next year, saying he feels compelled to run against the three-term senator after he and his wife were indicted on sweeping corruption charges. Kim’s surprise announcement came as […]

6 hours ago

FILE - Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., briefs reporters following a closed-door Repu...

Associated Press

With House Republicans in turmoil, colleagues implore GOP holdouts not to shut down government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working furiously to take control of a House in disarray, allies of Speaker Kevin McCarthy implored their Republican colleagues Saturday to drop their hardline tactics and work together to approve a conservative spending plan to prevent a federal shutdown. In public overtures and private calls, Republican lieutenants of the embattled speaker pleaded […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

3 shot and killed in targeted attack in Atlanta, police say

ATLANTA (AP) — Three people were shot and killed Saturday in a targeted, daytime attack in Atlanta, police said. Officers responded to a call reporting that someone had been shot in the city’s West End neighborhood around 1:30 p.m., police said in a news release. A preliminary investigation indicates a man approached two people and […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

California governor vetoes bill requiring custody courts to weigh affirmation of gender identity

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have required judges to consider whether a parent affirms their child’s gender identity when making custody and visitation decisions. In announcing his veto Friday night, Newsom released a statement saying he has “a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender […]

8 hours ago

A sign marks a roadside rest stop that has been made to look like the historic security gate that a...

Associated Press

Birthplace of the atomic bomb braces for its biggest mission since the top-secret Manhattan Project

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Los Alamos was the perfect spot for the U.S. government’s top-secret Manhattan Project. Almost overnight, the ranching enclave on a remote plateau in northern New Mexico was transformed into a makeshift home for scientists, engineers and young soldiers racing to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. Dirt roads were hastily […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

North Carolina GOP bars promotion of certain beliefs in state government, 1 of 5 veto overrides