Governor Beverly Perdue signed an executive order today telling the Employment Security Commission to reconfigure the formula so thousands of the unemployed are eligible for more federal benefits. For weeks Perdue has argued with legislative leaders over this issue. Lawmakers first gave her a bill to sign authorizing the extended benefits. She vetoed it because the benefits were attached to a continuing budget resolution. The Governor and Democrats in the General Assembly continued to complain to the press that Republican leaders were withholding the benefits from desperate people.
So today she decided to turn to an executive order to get it done. Perdue talked to the press outside the Capitol Building but say exactly why she waited until now to use an executive order.
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said he was advised by his staff and legislative staff Perdue didn’t have the legal authority to sign that order. He said if it were why didn’t she just do this is the first place. There’s no decision to challenge her right now. although Tillis said a private agency could file a lawsuit.
The budget bill up for a vote by the House today contains a provision extending the unemployment benefits. Tillis said if the budget is passed and becomes law the point is moot. Five Democrats still intend to vote for the budget so if they continue to support the plan the lawmakers can override any veto.