House Speaker Thom Tillis said today Gov. Bev Perdue should act quickly if she’s going to veto the budget.
Tillis said he’s “completely confident” he will have the Democratic votes to override a veto and put the budget on the books. He says a delay just leaves schools and local officials hanging while they wait for final spending numbers.
Perdue has till 11:59 Tuesday night to veto the budget. If she doesn’t, it automatically becomes law, whether or not she signs it.
“We’re not quite sure what the governor’s gonna do,” Tillis said. But if she’s going to veto it, he said, “veto it now.”
Tillis also addressed Senate Bill 727, a bill targeting the state teacher’s group, NCAE, by cutting off the collection of dues for the group via payroll deduction.
The measure passed its first vote Wednesday night 71-48, with all Republicans supporting it, plus three of the five Democrats who’ve aligned themselves with the GOP on the budget.
Other Democrats pointed out on the floor Wednesday night that the bill is not subject to the crossover deadline, since it’s already passed the Senate, so there was no reason to be taking it up during an already overly long day.
Tillis responded that he had “decided to make it a priority.”
Last week, during a closed-door caucus meeting that was accidentally broadcast to the press room, Tillis told his fellow Republicans, “The reason we’re doing it is because the NCAE has gone into all five districts with mailers hammering these Democrats. It’s just a little taste of what’s to come.”
Asked today whether political payback was an acceptable use of his power, Tillis ducked the question, instead attacking NCAE as a “far-left” political group run by high-paid organizers who pressure teachers into giving dues. “If you choose to be a political organization, don’t expect the legislature to enable it.”
The measure is on today's House calendar. But just after the press conference, Tillis told the House they probably wouldn't take up any bills today that are not subject to crossover, so S727 may be on hold till next week.
Watch the full press conference at right.