Thursday Wrap: Override overridden?

Posted June 9, 2016

— The anticipation of a veto override vote has ebbed from the Legislative Building in recent days, as Senate leaders work with the McCrory administration on a coal ash compromise.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday vetoed the General Assembly's latest attempt to manage the cleanup of dozens of toxin-laced coal ash ponds statewide, saying lawmakers continue to infringe on his authority to handle environmental matters. The bill had huge bopartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and a veto override was expected.

Senate leaders met with the chief executive of Duke Energy, which owns the ash ponds and is tasked with cleaning them up, on Wednesday to inform her that an override vote was "unlikely" and that the legislature is trying to negotiate a measure that would head off another lawsuit by McCrory.

As House and Senate conferees work out their own compromise on the $22.2 billion state budget, Sen. Tamara Barringer, R-Wake, explained her reason for not voting on the spending plan. A business school professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she said a budget provision giving the chancellor's office money to examine ways to improve water quality in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake posed a conflict of interest for her since Chancellor Carol Folt is her boss' boss.

Meanwhile, a gut-and-amend bill regarding changes to charter school funding that the Senate approved flustered members of one House committee, and a separate House committee approved a proposal that would allow Wake County and three other counties to set up their own eugenics compensation fund for people who were forcibly sterilized by the county social services departments.


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