GA Returns for Override Session
Special Report - January 4, 2012
Legislators have returned to Raleigh today for a special veto override session, following the Governor’s recent veto of legislation that would reform the state’s Racial Justice Act. Under the North Carolina Constitution, the Governor must call the General Assembly to reconvene for a special session in order to give them the opportunity to reconsider the vetoed legislation.
The Racial Justice Act, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2009, states: “No person shall be subject to or given a sentence of death or shall be executed pursuant to any judgment that was sought or obtained on the basis of race.” In November of 2011, the General Assembly passed SB 9No Discriminatory Purpose in Death Penalty, to “reform” the Act to “clarify the language in Article 101 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, to reflect the burden on the defendant is to show that the decision makers in the defendant's case acted with discriminatory purpose, and to clarify that this burden existed prior to the passage of Article 101 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes.” The Governor vetoed that legislation on December 14th, 2011. In order to override a veto, three-fifths of the members present and voting in both houses must approve the motion.
According to the North Carolina State Constitution, in a session reconvened for the purpose of reconsidering vetoed legislation, “the General Assembly may only consider such bills as were returned by the Governor to that reconvened session for reconsideration.” Lawmakers may choose to reconsider other bills that were vetoed by the Governor in previous 2011 sessions, which include the following:
Senate Overrides Abortion Bill Veto - July 29, 2011
Legislature Musters Historic Veto Override - June 16, 2011
Perdue Vetoes Healthcare Opt-Out - March 7, 2011
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