Owens may back veto override

Posted June 1, 2011

Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, is one of the five Democrats who voted for the House budget bill last month. All five have indicated they're likely to vote to approve the Senate version Friday as well.  (The other Dems are Crawford, Hill, Brisson and Spear.)  

Sources within leadership of both parties say Gov. Bev Perdue is"extremely unhappy" with the breakaway Dems, who essentially stole her thunder by brokering their own budget deal with Republican House and Senate leaders over the holiday weekend. 

Owens is an old friend of Perdue's, but, he admitted, "I got fussed at." The Pasquotank Democrat said he’s been in elected office, local and state, for 35 years, and he’s always voted for budgets, even those he didn’t like. “My philosophy is, if you don’t like it, get in there and fix it,” he said. “That’s what we did.”

He said the Party of 5 didn’t get what it wanted until Monday morning: $300 million for K-12, $100 million for the university system, and $50 million for Golden Leaf. 

Owens said he was motivated by concerns about a potential government shutdown. If July 1st rolled around without a budget, Owens said, “All that non-recurring money goes away. And a lot of things in state government are funded with non-recurring money.”

And if the GOP stuck to its earlier continuing resolution proposal, he said, a 13% spending cut would have been far worse than the $230 million gap between her proposal and the budget compromise. He said the difference in K-12 funding between H200 and Perdue’s proposal is even smaller - maybe a half-percent.  

Still, Owens thinks the Governor “will probably veto” the budget anyway. 

If that happens, I asked, will the Democrats hang together to uphold it?  

“I think us five will probably hang together,” Owens said.

To override the veto?

“Probably so,” he nodded.

"We're still friends, though," he was quick to add, saying he'll do everything he can to help Perdue get re-elected in 2012. "She's a good governor." 


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  • jeffharris18 Jun 3, 2011

    Good work, Bill!

  • SARCASTICLES Jun 2, 2011

    Go ahead, Mr. Owens...you five do just that, and you will most assuredly all hang together. The gallows is being built right now...and we even got you a new rope. ;)

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    head for the hills folks as we are all in for it now.

  • Jun 2, 2011

    They can't see the forest for the trees!

  • edith wharton Jun 2, 2011

    As much as my family needs the unemployment payments my husband has been receiving, my youngest was also counting (for the past five years) on attending college with the NC Teaching Fellows Program. That is on the cutting block. While we enjoy paying bills, we were also hoping for some help in sending our (very bright and motivated) youngest child to college with some financial help. Even with one income and two kids in college, we will not be devastatingly poor enough to get any financial aid. We will have to take out loans we will have trouble repaying so our daughter can become a teacher - one of the lowest paid professions. We all do what we have to do, but it was a beautiful dream she had of repaying her students loans with service to the state.

  • maryburkett1 Jun 2, 2011

    Has anyone noticed when polticans want something it is for the children. If the children got half of everything promised them it would be wonderful. The dems want more money for education but what about the kids whos parents have lost their income because they stopped the unemployment.They go to school and most likely feel awful because they have nothing.Governer do you know how that feels.Really do something for the children. Fix it so the parents can feed them again

  • jfreud Jun 2, 2011

    And we'll bring the tar and feathers.

  • coa Jun 2, 2011

    It is sad that Rep. Owens and Speer will sell out the children and families of Northeastern North Carolina for some possible future considerations. There will be real net losses in the school systems when you plug in all the budget machinations found in the Senate budget. Local Smart Start Partnerships within the counties in their districts will be injured if not closed. Families who depend upon services offered through Smart Start may be left behind. All of this to please a General Assembly guided and funded by a liberatarian and his minions. I grieve that the parents and grand-parents within our state would put up with this foolishness. Contrary to the Republicans mantra about how bad this state is for business one should look at national business journals that extol NC as among the top three to five as a business friendly state. No small part of that is our desire to have and continue to improve an educated work force beginning with early childhood education.

  • hp277 Jun 2, 2011

    The budget only drops NC to #49 in the country for per pupil spending. Why stop there, GOP?

    Let's shoot for the bottom! Go for #50!

  • jeffharris18 Jun 2, 2011

    Sounds good to me. I like the budget cuts. Its a move in the right direction.