Thursday News: Not-so-special session


GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES TODAY, BUT NO VETO OVERRIDE VOTES SCHEDULED: North Carolina lawmakers are returning to Raleigh for a "veto override" session, but it doesn't sound like they're going to give Gov. Roy Cooper's objections much attention now. The General Assembly is scheduled to convene Thursday, probably only for one day. It's supposed to consider the four vetoes Cooper issued from over 100 bills lawmakers left him when their annual work session ended June 30. A key House lawmaker says so many legislators are expected to be absent that action on the vetoed bills will wait until a session in September. The Republican-controlled legislature could take up some other pieces of legislation Thursday. Many legislators will stay through Friday to attend a redistricting committee whose work is intensifying after new General Assembly maps were ordered by Sept. 1.

MANY PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHER RECIPIENTS IN NC STRUGGLE WITH EXTRA COSTS: North Carolina families using taxpayer money to attend private schools are enjoying the educational opportunity but struggle to cover all the new financial costs, according to new studies by N.C. State University. Since 2014, thousands of low-income families have received up to $4,200 per child to help cover the costs to attend private schools. Financial concerns were raised by parents and leaders of private schools in a pair of new reports released last week by N.C. State researchers. “For some families at the lower end of the spectrum, it really was too much when they had to take into account the food and transportation costs,” said Anna Egalite, an N.C. State assistant professor of education and lead author of both studies.

US BANKS LEERY OF HOLDING MONEY GENERATED FROM LEGAL MARIJUANA SALES: Billions of dollars are expected to flow through California's legitimate marijuana industry next year when recreational pot becomes legal, but most of those businesses won't be able to use banks. The reason: Many banks don't want anything to do with pot money for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government, which still lists marijuana as illegal - and regulates the banking industry. There is particular uncertainty over how the Trump administration will react. Because of those fears, pot dispensary operators in the 29 states where the drug is legal, either for medical or recreational purposes, often find themselves nervously handling obscene amounts of cash. "It is not normal for people to walk around with millions of dollars of cash. We have to deal with this reality," lamented Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, who has proposed creating a municipal bank that would serve cannabis businesses.

TRUMP WHINES, BUT SIGNS VETO-PROOF RUSSIA SANCTIONS BILL: “The bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Trump said. “By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.” Trump’s talk of extending a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit his leeway. The new measure targets Russia’s energy sector as part of legislation that prevents Trump from easing sanctions on Moscow without congressional approval.

THOM TILLIS CALLS PUTIN DICTATOR IN TWITTER BATTLE WITH RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev posted his response to the bill signing on Twitter. “The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way,” he wrote. Tillis, a Republican, replied to Medvedev with a civics lesson. “Mr. Medvedev, the US has three co-equal branches of gov’t, a concept you’re clearly not familiar with under the Putin dictatorship,” Tillis wrote. Medvedev was president of Russia from 2008 to 2012 and then became prime minister when Vladimir Putin took over as president for the second time.