Lawmakers back in Raleigh for special session

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper issued another extra session proclamation last week to reconvene the General Assembly for the purpose of considering an override of one of his vetoes. With Cooper’s veto of House Bill 56, a bill that amended various environmental laws and provided supplemental funds related to the discharge of GenX in the Cape Fear River, the General Assembly now has five vetoed bills on its calendar for discussion. Cooper has vetoed 12 bills during this extended legislative session with seven of those vetoes being overridden so far.

Regardless of the vetoes, the legislature was coming back this week subject to its prior adjournment resolution. While the complicated rules of the chambers can allow for numerous items to be considered through procedural maneuvers, ostensibly the Oct. 4, 2017, session is limited to bills of certain types, including redistricting and those having been vetoed.

Changes to the state’s trial court judicial districts and the method of selecting judges have been frequent topics in both the halls and meetings rooms of the General Assembly since the August session. While no bills have advanced from committees on those topics, they are eligible for consideration during the current session.

During their late August session, the two chambers of the General Assembly passed revised maps for election of their members following a federal court order to do so. Those maps and the accompanying legislation are not subject to the governor’s veto power under the N.C. Constitution.

The N.C. House convenes Wednesday at 10 a.m. and the N.C. Senate opens its session at noon.