Senate to Move to Reconsider School Reopening Veto Override

Veto override fell one vote short, but a bill cosponsor was absent from the vote

Senate will move to reconsider the veto override to allow the school reopening cosponsor to vote on the bill that bears his name

MOTION will be voted on tomorrow afternoon, not full veto override

Raleigh, N.C. — Tomorrow afternoon, the North Carolina Senate will vote on a motion to reconsider the veto override of Senate Bill 37, the school reopening bill. The motion, if successful, will place the veto override back on the Senate calendar for consideration at a later date. The motion requires a simple majority to pass.

On March 1, the Senate Bill 37 veto override failed to garner a supermajority by one vote. The margin was 29–20. Democratic Sen. Ben Clark, who is a cosponsor of Senate Bill 37 and originally voted to pass it, was absent. If Sen. Clark were present and maintained his support for the bill that bears his name, the veto override would have passed.

If the motion to reconsider the veto override is successful, Sen. Clark will have the opportunity to provide the critical vote necessary to advance his bill over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.

Tomorrow’s vote on the motion to reconsider is not a vote on the override. The override vote will take place at a later date to comply with the requirement in the Senate’s rules to provide 24 hours notice in advance of a veto override vote.

Senate rules allow “any senator who voted in the majority [to] move to reconsider the vote thereof.” Twenty-nine senators, which is a majority, voted in favor of the March 1 veto override attempt. Therefore, any senator who voted in favor of the veto override may move to reconsider the vote.

A motion to reconsider will succeed if a simple majority, which is 26 senators, votes to support it.

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “Sen. Ben Clark cosponsored Senate Bill 37 and voted for its passage the first time around. He was absent from yesterday’s veto override attempt, and if he voted ‘yes’ then the override would have been successful. We intend to provide Sen. Clark the opportunity to advance the bill that bears his name.”

Sen. Clark told the Associated Press that he missed the March 1 veto override vote because he was at work. The Associated Press asked how he would have voted if he had been present: “Clark declined to say Tuesday how he would have voted, writing that at this point it ‘would be considered disingenuous by most.’”

Senate Democrats were notified this evening that the motion to reconsider would be voted on tomorrow.

Senate Republicans will provide Senate Democrats with at least 24 hours notice before a veto override vote is taken.

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