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.

United States News

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget; Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y.; Chris Christie, a Republican presidential candidate. __ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Preempted by coverage of golf’s Ryder Cup. __ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, […]

19 minutes ago

Associated Press

An ex-investigative journalist is sentenced to 6 years in a child sexual abuse materials case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former investigative journalist for ABC News was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for possessing and transporting child sexual abuse images. James Gordon Meek, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty in July, admitting in a plea agreement that he used an iPhone to exchange illicit materials during a chat […]

50 minutes ago

Associated Press

Dad who won appeal in college admissions bribery case gets 6 months home confinement for tax offense

BOSTON (AP) — A former Staples Inc. executive whose fraud and bribery convictions in the sprawling college admissions cheating scandal were thrown out by an appeals court was sentenced on Friday to six months of home confinement for a tax offense. John Wilson, 64, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced in Boston’s federal appeals court months […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

Subway franchise owners must pay workers nearly $1M – and also sell or close their stores

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court ordered the owners of 14 Subway locations north of San Francisco to pay employees nearly $1 million in damages and back pay — and also to sell or shut their businesses, with any sale proceeds going to the Department of Labor. Federal investigators said franchise owners John and […]

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

2 Indianapolis officers indicted for shooting Black man who was sleeping in his car, prosecutor says

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury has indicted two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers for shooting a Black man who was sleeping in a car parked outside his grandmother’s house, a prosecutor said Friday. Officers Carl Chandler and Alexander Gregory were indicted on battery and criminal recklessness charges in connection with the Dec. 31 predawn […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Rounded up! South Dakota cowboys and cowgirls rustle up hundreds of bison in nation’s only roundup

South Dakota cowboys and cowgirls rounded up a herd of more than 1,500 bison Friday as part of an annual effort to maintain the health of the species, which has rebounded from near-extinction. Visitors from across the world cheered from behind wire fencing as whooping horseback riders chased the thundering, wooly giants across hills and […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

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