Republican leaders call for special session in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WWAY) — The North Carolina legislature is returning for an unscheduled session because some Republican leaders are worried about the wording a Democratic-controlled state panel could affix to constitutional amendments on November ballots.

The House speaker and lieutenant governor issued a proclamation Monday, calling lawmakers back to work starting at midday Tuesday. Republican lawmakers used a procedural tool requiring signatures of three-fifths of House and Senate members to convene their own session.

At issue are titles to be placed atop each of the six amendments voters will consider this fall. State law directs a three-member panel to write those “captions,” but GOP legislators are worried the panel will write titles that could discourage their passage.

Some of the amendments — if approved — would erode the powers of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Gov. Cooper’s Press Office sent a email, saying in part  “Legislative Republicans understand that North Carolinians will oppose many of these amendments, so they passed misleading ballot language designed to conceal the scope and consequences of these constitutional changes. Fortunately, state law requires a separate, currently bipartisan board made up of the Attorney General, Secretary of State and Legislative Services Officer to create objective captions so voters understand the impact of Constitutional amendments on the ballot. But instead of allowing an open and transparent process, Republicans are calling a special session to circumvent this board’s work and prevent voters from seeing accurate descriptions of these amendments,” it reads.

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