First Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed SB532 that would have made changes at the Employment Security Commission (ESC) and put it under the director of the Secretary of Commerce. Perdue received a letter and an email from the U.S. Department of Labor outlining concerns over the bill. The email said the new law would raise rates on some businesses.
Perdue then issued an executive order giving the Commerce Secretary more oversight on the ESC.
On the same day the Governor rejected SB496 which dealt with changes to requirements for Medicaid and Health Choice providers. Perdue didn’t like shifting some decisions from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Office of Administrative hearings.
Next with the red ink came HB781, the Regulatory Reform Act. It took some of the heat from agency rules off the back of businesses. In a written statement Perdue said:
“While I wholeheartedly support the General Assembly’s desire to pass laws aimed at reforming our bureaucracy, those laws have to be balanced and meet constitutional standards. Senate Bill 781 fails this test. It would take final decision-making authority in certain circumstances away from state agencies and instead give it to the Office of Administrative Hearings – a result that the Attorney General has repeatedly declared is in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. I urge the General Assembly to revisit the issue of regulatory reform.”
Then came SB709 the Energy Jobs Act. It would have moved the state toward exploration for oil and natural gas. After stamping that one with the veto mark the Governor issued two energy executive orders.
One order established an off shore wind task force to study the use of wind power on the coast.
The other executive order set up a Scientific Advisory Panel on Energy. Among the duties of the new panel would be to explore the possibility of off shore and inland drilling.
Meanwhile, Governor Perdue took action on the rest of the bills facing a deadline today. She decided not to sign the Annexation Reform Act HB845 so it will become law anyway tomorrow.
The Governor also didn’t sign HB344 which would give tax credits for parents to transfer their disabled children to private schools. That too becomes law.
Perdue did sign HB289 which authorized a special “Choose Life” license tag.
Update: Not long after the vetoes the Senate Republican leader released a statement.
Gov. Beverly Perdue on Thursday vetoed several bills designed to provide certainty for job-creating businesses in the private sector. Unemployment in North Carolina remains higher than the national average, and the state’s economy has shed more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years.
“Not so long ago, Gov. Perdue claimed to champion several of the issues she rejected. An indecisive, politically-desperate politician trying to cater to her base, she now stands squarely with fringe environmental groups and liberal special interests in opposing the job-creating sector of North Carolina’s economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
Berger said if the governor had legitimate constitutional concerns, she should have voiced them before today.