Our governor used his veto stamp six times so far this session, and one bill made it through without his signature.
1. HB605 – 2022 Primary Date : Pushed the date of the primary to June 7 instead of March 8 (primary was eventually held on May 17).
Vetoed Jan. 28: “This bill is an attempt by Republican legislators to control the election timeline and undermine the voting process.”
2. SB173 – Free the Smiles Act : Allowed parents to opt their children out of wearing masks in public schools during the pandemic (school mask mandates had already begun being lifted).
Vetoed Feb. 24: “Passing laws for political purposes that encourage people to pick and choose which health rules they want to follow is dangerous and could tie the hands of public health officials in the future.”
3. HB49 – Concealed Carry Permit Lapse/Revise Law : Concealed-carry holders could renew without taking safety training.
Vetoed July 11: “Requiring sheriffs to waive firearm safety and training courses for those who let their concealed weapons permit lapse is yet another way Republicans are working to chip away at commonsense gun safety measures that exist in North Carolina.”
4. SB101 – Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0 : “An act to require compliance with immigration detainers and administrative warrants and to require certain reports from local law enforcement.”
Vetoed July 11: “This law is only about scoring political points and using fear to divide North Carolinians. As the state’s former top law enforcement officer, I know that current law already allows the state to incarcerate and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status. This bill is unconstitutional and weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating that sheriffs do the job of federal agents, using local resources that could hurt their ability to protect their counties.”
5. SB593 – Schools for the Deaf and Blind : Wrangles three schools for special-needs students under one governance at the discretion of the state Board of Ed.
Vetoed July 11: “Not only is this bill blatantly unconstitutional, it continues this legislature’s push to give more control of education to Boards of Trustees made up of partisan political appointees. First the legislature seized control of all UNC system trustee appointments from the Executive Branch. They did the same with two of the state’s community college boards. And now, this bill removes administration of the important NC Schools for the Deaf and Blind from the State Board of Education to a newly created board with 80 percent of the trustees, who may or may not know how to run these schools, appointed by the legislature. The students at the schools deserve steady, knowledgeable leadership rather than becoming a part of the erosion of statewide education oversight.”
6. HB823 – Child Advocacy Centers/Share Information : Sets new criteria for children’s advocacy centers, with a lot of fine print.
Vetoed July 11: “This bill was well-intended to better serve children, but in the hurried conclusion of session it included critical flaws, for example, limiting departments of social services’ ability to refer children who have come to the attention of child welfare to pediatric specialists for appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment. Legislators should continue to work with the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Child Advocacy Centers, and others to fix these flaws and move this work forward in future legislation to best help children.”
7. HB911 – Regulatory Reform Act of 2022 : An omnibus bill trimming excess regulations on everything including teachers, land use, veterinary medicine, lead dust, public records, modular homes, the state auditor’s office, waterslide operators and more.
Passed into law July 12 without the governor’s signature: “This bill contains necessary changes in several areas but will become law without my signature due to a provision involving confessions of judgment that could be unfair to consumers. Weakening their due process rights in this way could also conflict with federal regulations that recognize confessions of judgment are harmful to consumers. Legislators have pledged to eliminate this provision and I expect them to be true to their word.”
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An altweekly veteran of more than 20 years, Brian studied journalism at Loyola University New Orleans and wrote for the Gambit before moving to the NC Piedmont Triad. He has been covering this market in publications like the News & Record, Our State, O. Henry magazine and Yes! Weekly since 2000.
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