Last November, North Carolinians sent a Democratic governor and a heavily Republican legislature to Raleigh. This partisan split has led to some big disagreements on policy during the current legislative session.
Governor Roy Cooper has not been shy about saying where he thinks legislators are going wrong. In return, legislators have felt free to pass legislation without input from the governor (Republicans have a veto-proof majority in both houses of the General Assembly).
So far, the governor has vetoed four bills. Legislators have promptly overridden all four vetoes:
House Bill 100, Show political party labels of judge candidates on ballot: Passed 65 to 51 in the House on February 22 and 32 to 15 in the Senate on March 6. Governor vetoed on March 16. Veto override passed 74 to 44 in the House on March 22 and 32 to 15 in the Senate on March 23.
To print superior and district court judge candidates' party affiliations on voter ballots. Elections for these judgeships used to be partisan until 1996 for superior court and 2001 for district court. This bill would repeal state law making them nonpartisan. Similar legislation passed in December 2016 to make North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals elections partisan.
House Bill 239, Cut the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12: Passed 71 to 42 in the House on March 9 and 30 to 13 in the Senate on April 11. Governor vetoed on April 21. Veto override passed 73 to 44 in the House and 34 to 15 in the Senate on April 26.
To reduce the size of the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12. The bill would do that by abolishing the next three incumbent judges' seats that become vacant.
Senate Bill 68, Create new bipartisan elections and ethics board: Passed 49 to 0 in the Senate on March 21 and 68 to 42 in the House on April 6. Governor vetoed on April 24. Veto override passed 33 to 15 in the Senate on April 24 and 75 to 44 in the House on April 25.
To merge the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission into a new "Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement," which would have four Democrat members and four Republican members. The governor would appoint members from lists of nominees given him by the state party chairs.
House Bill 467, Limit damage awards for hog farm odors and other disturbances: Passed 68 to 47 in the House on April 10 and 30 to 19 in the Senate on April 26. Governor vetoed on May 5. Veto override passed 74 to 40 in the House on May 10 and 30 to 18 in the Senate on May 11.
To limit damage awards for when bad smells, noises, etc. from hog farms, livestock, poultry farms, tree harvesting operations, etc. interfere with people's private enjoyment of their own property. The bill would set compensation for a "nuisance disturbance" to the reduction in the property's fair market value caused by the disturbance, and cap it at fair market value.
What do you think of the dispute between the governor and legislators? Was the governor right to veto these bills? Or are you glad that the General Assembly override his vetoes?