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Lawmakers make change to bill that prompted protests

July 6, 2020 GMT

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh Monday to tie up some loose ends left from last month’s legislative session.

First up was reversing course on a bill that could have shielded death records from the public. For more than a week, protesters have camped outside the Executive Mansion, asking Gov. Roy Cooper to veto the bill. He has until midnight to do so or it becomes law.

Lawmakers pre-empted that necessity Monday by agreeing to strip the controversial language – which would have kept death investigation records confidential when they reach the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner instead of being publicly available. Protesters argue that would have made it easier to conceal the details of deaths in police custody or jails.

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The full House and Senate are expected to approve the change and vote it into law in the next couple of days.