Senate set to override abortion veto

Posted July 28, 2011 7:13 a.m. EDT

State senators are expected to complete the veto override of abortion bill H854 today, even though they won't have all Republicans voting yes.

A veto override requires a three-fifths vote of all "members present and voting." The Senate GOP holds 31 seats out of 50. On most bills, that's a veto-proof majority, since three-fifths of 50 is 30. 

But H854 only got 29 votes when it came through the first time. Senator Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, voted against it. And Senator Richard Stevens, R-Wake, didn't cast a vote. 

Stevens has an excused absence all this week. Bingham told us Tuesday he does not intend to support the override. "Hopefully, I can either vote against it or walk," he said.  

But if he walks - that is, leaves the chamber during the vote - the Senate will have only 48 members present and voting. And three-fifths of 48 is 29, which is precisely the number of votes the GOP has.

Senate leader Phil Berger confirmed yesterday he expects the veto to be overridden with less than 30 votes.

When the Senate completes the override, the bill will become law. We'll be streaming the debate and the vote live from the Senate this morning at 10am. Watch the doors live here on WRAL.com.