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NC Senate fails to override Cooper veto of school bill

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 8:06 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) -The North Carolina Senate did not have the votes to override Governor Roy Cooper’s recent veto of a bill mandating in-person instruction at public schools across the state.

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 37 Friday because of what he claims are two issues with the legislation. First, he says it allows students in middle and high school to go back into the classroom in violation of NCDHHS and CDC guidelines.

Second, he says it would hinder local and state officials from protecting teachers and students during an emergency.

The North Carolina Republican Party reacted to the failed veto override vote saying, “Tonight, NC Senate Democrats let the kids and families of North Carolina down and showed profiles of cowardice in the face of pressure from Governor Cooper and teacher union bosses,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “With their vote against SB 37, the Senate Democrats - including three members who previously voted in support of reopening schools - helped Governor Cooper keep schoolhouse doors across North Carolina locked. It is very disappointing that North Carolina Democrats are siding with Joe Biden and teachers unions to keep our schools closed - our kids deserve much better than this kind of naked special-interest politics.”

North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson said, “Today’s vote in the Senate underscores just how important our efforts were to break the Republican supermajority in 2018 and re-elect Governor Cooper in 2020. As we continue to navigate this crisis, North Carolina deserves measured, steady leaders like Governor Cooper, who will lead with science and prioritize public health. North Carolina Democrats will continue to stand with Governor Cooper and ensure our children are able to attend in-person instruction safely.”

The Republicans needed at least two Democrats to vote with them for the required three-fifths majority required for the override, but only one did, Kirk deViere of Cumberland County. The vote was 29-20 vote.

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