by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
It’s another day of suffering for North Carolina school kids now that Democrats in the North Carolina Senate chose to side with Gov. Roy Cooper, supporting his veto of Senate Bill 37, which would have required public school districts to offer in-person instruction. Senate leadership reacted with the news release below.
Raleigh, N.C. — Two weeks ago, bipartisan supermajorities in the N.C. General Assembly passed legislation requiring schools to offer some form of in-person instruction.
But after Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe flip-flopped and voted to sustain the veto. Another legislator, Democratic Sen. Ben Clark, who cosponsored the bill and voted to support it the first time, didn’t show up for the veto override vote.
Sen. Lowe explained his flip-flop to the News & Observer, one of North Carolina’s largest newspapers: “He asked. I am a Democrat. He’s the governor, and a Democratic governor.”
The veto override failed by one vote. Had Sen. Lowe not placed political allegiance to the governor over a school reopening bill he supported just 12 days prior, the school reopening bill would have almost certainly become law.
Alternatively, had Sen. Clark shown up and voted to support the bill that has his own name on it, it would have almost certainly become law.