Senate to Vote Tonight on School Reopening Veto Override

Three Democratic senators prioritized children’s interests on the first vote; if they don’t switch, veto override will succeed

Latest poll: 73% of voters support requiring schools to offer in-person instruction

Raleigh, N.C. — The N.C. Senate will vote this evening to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 37, which requires schools to offer some form of in-person instruction.

The measure passed the legislature with bipartisan supermajorities. A poll conducted last week shows 73% of voters support requiring schools to reopen while 22% oppose.

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “Three Democratic senators — Sens. Kirk DeViere, Paul Lowe, and Ben Clark — prioritized children’s interests when the bill passed the first time. If they stick to their convictions and side again with the overwhelming majority of parents, this bill will almost certainly become law.”

Senate Bill 37 grants local school districts broad flexibility in how to provide in-person instruction. The measure allows school districts to choose Plan A or Plan B, and the bill provides a two-week grace period for schools to prepare.

Gov. Cooper put teachers ahead of cancer patients in vaccination priority, so teacher vaccinations began on Feb. 24. Therefore, if the bill is enacted into law, teacher vaccinations will have been underway for nearly a full month by the time this bill even kicks in.

The Governor’s objection to the bill is that it allows school districts to choose to operate under Plan A if they wish. As Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said last week, “With teacher vaccinations in full swing, there is no legitimate excuse for Gov. Cooper and the far-left NCAE to oppose the broad reopening flexibility this bill grants to school districts.”

Tonight’s voting session will be held at 7 p.m. Senate Democrats were provided notice of the veto override yesterday afternoon.

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