UPDATED: Cooper issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying he will issue a proclamation convening the session Oct. 2, as legislative leaders requested.

Gov. Roy Cooper rejects an appeal from legislative leaders to convene a special session this week for Hurricane Florence relief efforts. But the General Assembly’s top lawmakers still hope the governor won’t wait until Oct. 9 to let them go to work.

In a letter delivered to Cooper Monday, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said Cooper’s staff had turned down a request to convene the session Friday, Sept. 28. The leaders wanted an earlier session to ensure teachers and other local education employees in flood-soaked areas got paid even though their school districts were closed. In Monday’s letter, the lawmakers also noted legislation may be needed to modify school calendars and waive tax deadlines for businesses that must file at the end of September.

Berger and Moore asked Cooper to move up the session to Tuesday, Oct. 2, allowing lawmakers to take care of those immediate concerns. Then they would adjourn until Oct. 9 to handle other responsibilities.

During a press briefing about hurricane relief, Cooper said an earlier date may be possible, but he hadn’t decided on it.