Raleigh, N.C. — The General Assembly will be back on Sept. 3.
Gov. Pat McCrory has called to legislature back to examine two bills he vetoed earlier this month.
“The veto should be used for two reasons,” McCrory said in a news release. “The first is to stop legislation about which I have strong reservations of being in the best interest of North Carolina. The second is to ensure the public is made aware of legislation that is not fully scrutinized. These bills meet both criteria.”
House Bill 392 would require drug testing of applicants for certain welfare programs, something McCrory has said is unfair and could open the state up to legal challenges.
House Bill 786 would exempt certain foreign workers from undergoing E-verify background checks for up to nine months, something the governor said would create loopholes for those here illegally.
Both bills passed with more than the three-fifths majorities needed to override a gubernatorial veto.
When a governor issues a veto, the state constitution requires him to recall the legislature so they may have a chance to override and pass the law not withstanding his objections.
"I'll tell you what I told the governor's office," House Majority Whip Mike Hager said. "We have the ability to override both vetoes if we choose to, and I think we are going to choose to."
As whip, Hager, R-Rutherford, is responsible for assessing how members will vote in high-profile situations. He called both measures "good bills."
Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, the Senate Majority Whip, said he did not have a formal vote count, but believed his chamber would also vote to override McCrory’s vetoes.
"The people that I have talked to are pretty firm on overriding, Tillman said.
The veto override sessions will begin at noon, although it's unclear what the exact timing for votes will be.
"Given that September 3rd falls the day after Labor Day, the House leadership has informed the members that we will not move forward with any action immediately upon convening at noon and no votes will be taken at that time," reads a news release from House Speaker Thom Tillis. "House leadership is working with members to determine if a recess will be taken to reconvene later that day (to allow time for travel) or to adjourn and reconvene on the morning of September 4th. In any event, the House intends to adjourn in advance of the Jewish Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, which begins on the evening of September 4th."