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McCrory calls Sept. 3 session to consider vetoes

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory has called for North Carolina lawmakers to return to Raleigh next month to consider overriding his first two vetoes on bills related to immigration and drug testing for welfare applicants.
    
McCrory issued a proclamation Thursday calling the reconvened session for noon on Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. The state constitution requires him to order one by Sept. 4, or his vetoes would be canceled automatically.
    
Now, three-fifths of those present in both the House and Senate will have to vote to override, for a bill to be enacted. Both pieces of legislation passed by wide margins in the final days of the session in July. McCrory, a Republican, has been using video and Facebook to lobby legislators to uphold the vetoes. That's been rubbing some Republican lawmakers the wrong way and many are predicting overrides.
    
Despite the proclamation, the legislature could choose not to return if a majority of members in the House and Senate write saying they don't want to meet. McCrory "believes the General Assembly's best option is to not convene, thus saving tax dollars and ensuring" the vetoes are sustained, the governor's office said in a release.
    
One of the vetoed bills directs state health officials to administer a drug test to any applicant to, or recipient of, the Work First welfare program who the agency "reasonably suspects is engaged in the illegal use of controlled substances." McCrory has said the bill is fiscally irresponsible, potentially intrusive and punitive in restricting future access to benefits.
    
The other measure would exempt employers from using the federal E-Verify system for temporary workers of less than nine months in a calendar year, compared to no more than three months in a 12-month period that is currently law. North Carolina Farm Bureau wants the veto overridden because it would provide relief to farmers that need to hire workers in the fields. McCrory said the measure would make it easier to hire immigrants who are unlawfully in the country for agriculture and other employment sectors.
    
McCrory still has 34 bills on his desk from this year's session. He must act on them by Sunday night or they'll become law without his signature.

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