House Speaker Thom Tillis says the General Assembly could be in town for a week for this veto override session - and if it happens, he says, it'll be Governor Bev Perdue's fault.
At issue is the appointment of Rep. Trudi Walend (R-Transylvania), a former lawmaker who will replace Rep. David Guice. He resigned to become Probation Chief as of Jan. 1st.
Walend was selected by local party officials Monday night, but she can't be sworn in until she's officially appointed by Perdue. The governor doesn't get any say in the matter - she can't refuse to appoint a lawmaker who's been selected as a replacement. She has seven days to make the appointment. If she doesn't, the new lawmaker is automatically appointed.
Most of the necessary paperwork was on Perdue's desk yesterday, with the exception of a required Statement of Economic Interest, which Walend filed this afternoon at the NC State Ethics Commission.
Today, Tillis accused Perdue of trying to run out the clock, "artificially lowering the baseline" of GOP votes available today to override her veto of the Racial Justice Act repeal. He called on the governor to make the appointment immediately.
"I think it’s irresponsible and it’s playing politics, versus just letting us go into the chamber and cast a vote," Tillis said this afternoon.
"And I will tell you that we will probably be here until the governor does appoint Representative Walend. Each day that the governor delays costs the taxpayers 50 thousand dollars. We would encourage her to go ahead and do it today. She is going to have to do it," said Tillis.
Republicans would need several Democratic allies to make it to the three-fifths margin needed for a veto override, so every vote counts. Tillis wouldn't say how many votes he has at this point, or whether Walend's vote would be the deciding one. But he said Perdue is disenfranchising the people of Walend's district by keeping her from participating.
Democrats say Tillis doesn't have the votes without Walend. They say replacement appointments are never made in less than 3 or 4 days, let alone 36 hours. They say House Republicans should go ahead and take a vote anyway.