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Several bills could be voted on in override session

Posted January 2, 2012

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— North Carolina lawmakers will return to Raleigh Wednesday to consider overriding a veto of a law benefiting death row inmates, but they could take up other vetoed legislation as well.

Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed Senate Bill 9, which would have essentially repealed the Racial Justice Act. The 2-year-old law allows death row inmates to challenge their sentences by using statistical evidence to show racial bias played a role.

Prosecutors and other critics of the law say it was too broadly written, noting that all but three of the roughly 160 people on North Carolina's death row have filed claims under the law, including white inmates whose victims were also white.

North Carolina Legislature Building (4x3) Lawmakers to return for veto override session

Perdue said she supports the death penalty but has said it's essential that it be carried out fairly because it's the ultimate punishment.

Inmates who convince a judge that bias was a factor in their sentences would have their death sentences commuted to life in prison without parole.

The state constitution says lawmakers can take up vetoed bills only during an override session, but there are several high-profile vetoes waiting in the wings that could be addressed by lawmakers this week.

Republican leaders could also try to override vetoes of bills that would require voters to present identification at the polls, challenge the federal health care reform law, allow a controversial method of natural gas exploration and prohibit the North Carolina Association of Educators from using payroll deductions to collect dues from teachers.

"I am not aware of anything else that's going to be taken up (other than Senate Bill 9), but theoretically, we could take up lots of things," House Majority Leader Paul Stam said.

House Minority Whip Deborah Ross said she hopes lawmakers will stick to the Racial Justice Act bill.

"People are traveling. People are out. Lobbyists and the public are not able to have an influence over what happens," said Ross, D-Wake. "We've been called back for one reason under the constitution, and we need to stick to that business and then go home."

Because of absences, House Republicans would likely need only four Democratic allies to override any veto.

Ross said she doesn't think any of her fellow Democrats would agree to help Republicans out, but Stam, R-Wake, said he's hopeful some might.

14 Comments

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  • Bob3425 Jan 3, 2012

    Lobbyists and the public are not able to have an influence over what happens," said Ross, D-Wake.. Why worry about lobbyist?

  • Plenty Coups Jan 3, 2012

    "NO ID, no vote. People don't have a problem producing ID when they apply for government entitlements."

    Once again, its unconstitutional unless the state pays for it.

  • whatusay Jan 3, 2012

    NO ID, no vote. People don't have a problem producing ID when they apply for government entitlements.

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Jan 3, 2012

    The Democrats will have hundreds of people in NC working for Pres. Obama. Unless we have voter ID many of these people will sign and vote in our state as well as their own state.That is hw the Democrat oppose Voter ID. It has nothing to do with keeping legal citizens of NC from voting. Jimmei77
    jimmei77
    January 3, 2012 10:05 a.m.
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    Are you saying you want taxpayers to pay for the ID's Mr. "conservative"? The Constitution CLEARLY says you cannot charge to vote. So who pays for the ID? TAXPAYERS!!!! Good one. Come out of the closet lib!

  • jimmei77 Jan 3, 2012

    The Democrats will have hundreds of people in NC working for Pres. Obama. Unless we have voter ID many of these people will sign and vote in our state as well as their own state.That is hw the Democrat oppose Voter ID. It has nothing to do with keeping legal citizens of NC from voting. Jimmei77

  • Milkman Jan 3, 2012

    The number of people in the state who have no id is very small. The democrats know how much cheating is going on at the polls and will fight this legislation so that they can keep sending people to 20 polling places a day.

    Given that 7 of the next 10 on death row are white, I this override is good.

    And anyone notice that the democrat interviewed on this story said that the lobbyists were absent, like that's the most important thing. We know where the Dems priorities are. Lobbyists.

  • Rebelyell55 Jan 3, 2012

    Couple of things here, where are those who are absent and why? They're getting paid to be there, should have a good excuse for not being there.

  • coolwill43 Jan 3, 2012

    You are required to have an ID for nearly every thing you do, even going into the White House, banks, etc. this is a no brainier. voter fraud may be low, just wreck will talking on a cell phone or texting; however they want to stop that use also, I am sure just like voter fraud the concern is that it could become worse. We must also be aware there is a large group of people with false IDs and our government seems to do nothing about it. Anyone who gets a driver license (legal or not) can sign up to vote, we need to verify at all times. The TSA is now planning to start ID search, pat downs and x-rays at bus stations, train station, subway stations and highways, we must be prepared.

  • Plenty Coups Jan 2, 2012

    "Anyone who can legally vote can easily get an ID at no cost - so where is the problem?"

    No cost? They cost an average of $5 which would have to be taken up by taxpayers. Since there is no proven widespread voter fraud, why should the state spend millions while keeping education spending near the last in the nation?

  • Plenty Coups Jan 2, 2012

    Taxman-"and the Union members should pay their dues, if they want to, without being forced to have them deducted from paychecks."

    This statement is completely wrong. No one forces teachers to become members of NCAE. It is completely voluntary. NCAE members cannot go on strike and cannot collectively bargain. Republicans tried to pass this bill out of spite, since NCAE members tend to vote democrat. Republicans tried to make it more difficult to fund an organization that has the gall to speak up for themselves. I challenge anyone to find me a republican assembly member who has ever voted for a teacher raise.

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