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As the work session nears its end, North Carolina legislators weigh vetoes and constitutional amendments

North Carolina Legislative Building (Via Trevor Baker/Shutterstock)

The North Carolina General Assembly rushed on Wednesday to pass laws before concluding its main session for the year, knowing they might return later this summer to finish unfinished tasks.

One major task left is to adjust the second year of the state budget, already approved for a two-year period. Both the House and Senate Republicans have proposed different spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year starting next week, but negotiations to reconcile these differences have stalled.

Senate leader Phil Berger indicated that the Senate plans to leave Raleigh after Thursday, while House Speaker Tim Moore suggested taking a break to ease tensions.

Regarding vetoed bills, the General Assembly indicated they would likely override Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s veto on legislation concerning protesters, campaign finance, youth offenders’ prosecutions, and transportation.

Tim Moore speaks with Sarah Stevens (Via Trevor Baker/Shutterstock)

The House voted on Wednesday to override three of Cooper’s vetoes, with the Senate expected to follow suit on Thursday. Republicans hold slim majorities in both chambers, allowing them to override vetoes.

One of the bills increases penalties for wearing masks while committing a crime or blocking roads during protests. Exceptions are made for medical masks to prevent the spread of illnesses, although individuals may be asked to briefly remove them for identification by police or property owners.

Governor Cooper objected to unrelated campaign finance provisions within the bill, allowing federally-registered political groups to donate funds to state political parties using unlimited individual contributions.

Other overridden vetoes involved bills that mandate more young people accused of serious crimes to be automatically tried in adult court and expand areas where billboard owners can trim vegetation along roadsides.

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