Lawmakers continue override streak of Cooper vetoes 

The North Carolina General Assembly is featured in this file photo.

RALEIGH — Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly successfully overrode six additional vetoes of legislation issued by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. 

The overridden vetoes included Senate Bill 582, (North Carolina Farm Act of 2023);  Senate Bill 364, (Nondiscrimination and Dignity in State Work); Senate Bill 331 (Consumer Finance Act Amendments), Senate Bill 329 (Retail Installment Sales Act Amendments); Senate Bill 299 (Reimburse Late Audit Costs with Sales Tax Rev.); and House Bill 750 (Address ESG Factors). 

Both Senate Bills 331 and 229 passed the legislature with unanimous support from both parties, however, during the override votes nearly every Democrat who voted to pass the measures flipped their vote to uphold the governor’s veto.   

The Senate overrode Cooper’s veto of this year’s Farm Act bill by a vote of 29-17. 

Sens. Gale Adcock (D-Wake), Sydney Batch (D-Wake), Dan Blue (D-Wake), Mary Willis Bode (D-Wake) Rachel Hunt (D-Mecklenburg), Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), Kandie Smith (D-Pitt), Joyce Waddell (D-Mecklenburg), and Mike Woodard (D-Durham) had all previously voted in favor of concurrence on the bill but reversed their votes to uphold Cooper’s veto.  

In the House override of the North Carolina Farm Act of 2023, the vote was 78-40. Five Democrats voted with Republicans to override the veto: Reps. Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford), Carla Cunningham (D-Mecklenburg), Nasif Majeed (D-Mecklenburg), Garland Pierce (D-Scotland), Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe), and Michael Wray (D-Northampton). 

State Treasurer Dale Folwell, who has consistently opposed the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement, applauded the override of House Bill 750. 

“This is a good day in North Carolina. We are grateful to those lawmakers who understand the need to shield the state pension plan against the movement to weaponize public retirement systems to achieve extreme agendas,” Folwell said in a statement. 

The House overrode the ESG Bill by a vote of 72-46 and the Senate overrode the veto 29-16.  

No Democrats in either chamber voted to override the veto despite five Democrats originally voting in favor of passing the House Bill 750, which included Reps. Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) Frances Jackson (D-Cumberland), B. Ray Jeffers (D-Person), Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe), and Michael Wray (D-Northampton). 

In addition to the six overrides conducted in June, two other bills saw successful overrides; Senate Bill 41, which repealed the state’s duplicative pistol purchase permit law, and Senate Bill 20, which enacted shorter limitations of 12 weeks on selective abortions in North Carolina. A lawsuit has already been filed challenging the new abortion law.  

Over the course of his two terms, Cooper has issued 83 vetoes as of June 29, 2023. Of those vetoes, 31 had been overridden, there were 16 unsuccessful override attempts, and 36 had no override attempt made. The largest number of successful overrides (28) occurred during the 2017-18 legislative sessions. 

About A.P. Dillon 1137 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_