Gov. McCrory just vetoed his first bill of the 2013 Legislation Session. The bill he vetoed is HB 392 “Warrant Status/ Drug Screen Public Assistance.” Civitas recently reported on the bill when it was passing through the Legislature and many people thought the bill would be a victory for public assistance.
In McCrory’s press released on 8/15/2013 McCrory gives an explanation about why he vetoed the bill. “This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” Governor McCrory continued. “Similar efforts in other states have proved to be expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina.”
While the bill was a Republican Bill there was a Democrat who has a say in tweaking the bill to benefit the poor. Sen. Angela Bryant (D-Edgecombe) stated, “I only did it because I was given the opportunity by the sponsors to have some influence addressing the unconstitutional(ity) of it — particularly the drug-testing part,” Bryant explained. “That bill started out drug-testing everybody.” Bryant said there was a suggestion coming out of the House to change some of the language in the bill and to test those where there was a reasonable suspicion of drug use. “There was an opening to further define and narrow reasonable suspicion so that everybody wouldn’t be tested,” Bryant said. “That bill had already passed in the Senate over my objection. Since it looked like it was going to pass in some form anyway, it seemed to me more helpful to get in there and try to narrow it than to stand in complete opposition.”
While the question of long term cost is questioned the requirements of the bill would allow for those who truly need help to be given the assistance the need and encourage good responsible behavior.
What happens next to HB 392? According to the General Assembly’s website:
“The Governor is required to reconvene the General Assembly if a bill is vetoed after adjournment, unless a written request is received and signed by a majority of the Members of both houses that it is not necessary to reconvene.
If the Governor vetoes a bill, the bill is returned to the original house where 3/5 of present and voting members can vote to override the veto. If the original house votes to override the veto, the bill is sent to the second house where 3/5 of present and voting members must also vote to override the veto before the bill can become law.”
State lawmakers may very well be returning to Raleigh to attempt a veto override.