by Jane Porter
Two bills became law in the span of 10 minutes this morning, notwithstanding Gov. Pat McCrory's earlier vetoes.
The N.C. Senate voted 34-10 to override House Bill 392, which requires people applying for public assistance to be drug tested.
The Senate voted 39-5 to override House Bill 786, an immigration law which creates a loophole that would expand the seasonal worker E-Verify system exemption from 90 days to nearly 9 months.
Sen. Jim Davis urged his colleagues to vote to override HB 392.
"This bill is not and never was a way to fight criminal drug abuse," Davis said. "It's a bill to stop supporting people who abuse drugs and help them move to self-sufficiency and have a job. It's a way to help steer people away from drugs."
Regarding HB 786, Sen. Brent Jackson called it "the right thing for the agriculture community."
"(The bill) in no way adds to illegals," he said, "and it is still illegal to hire illegals."
Sen. Floyd McKissick asked that the Senate session be adjourned in honor of Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, who resigned from the Senate Aug. 19.
Sen. Jerry Tillman, a Republican, said he had great respect for Kinnaird and called himself and Kinnaird "close buddies."
"She is an unabashed liberal," Tillman said. "She never wavered. You've got to love that in a person."