Reactions poured in after Gov. Bev Perdue's budget veto Sunday afternoon:
From House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange:
"Gov. Perdue placed herself squarely in the company of North Carolina's great education leaders today when she vetoed the budget Republican legislators put on her desk. It is a disappointing plan that reverses the course of history in this state, taking away opportunity instead of expanding it.
"Education, health care, public safety and the environment all suffer under this proposal. Our outstanding university system suffers damaging and unnecessary cuts. Environmental protection is compromised. I fully support her decision."
The left-leaning coalition Together NC called the veto "absolutely correct":
"This budget would devastate our education system, which is the foundation of North Carolina's prosperity. It would also cost jobs and economic vitality at precisely the wrong time. We need to invest in North Carolina's future, not retreat from funding the vital institutions that make our state great.
"In her veto announcement, Gov. Perdue was also correct on two crucial points. First, the most devastating cuts could have been avoided simply by maintaining the penny sales tax. Simply preserving the revenue we have would make a huge difference to schools, health systems, and public safety in North Carolina. Second, Gov. Perdue is correct that the budget she favors would be better-suited to protect schools than the legislative budget she has vetoed today.
"Gov Perdue is to be applauded for standing up for teachers, firefighters, and health care workers. We call upon lawmakers to join her in standing with everyday North Carolinians by sustaining this veto. Only then can we build a budget that really works to create prosperity in North Carolina."
State NAACP leader Rev. William Barber called out the "Party of Five" - the Democrats who voted for the budget - while praising Perdue's stand:
"Governor Beverly Perdue's veto of the cruel budget is a veto of principle. The morally flawed budget sent to her betrayed our children, our elderly, minorities, the poor and the out of work.
"History will be made when the House votes on whether to uphold this principled veto. The House of Representatives will be remembered as the place where five men, temporarily confused by the false logic of back-room deals for their districts, reached deep in their hearts and voted for the common good of all our people.
"Or the House will be remembered as the place, in 2011, where callous self-interest and ideological purity triumphed over the common good.
"Gov. Perdue has chosen the high road. Who will join her?"
And, in an unusual move, House Minority Whip Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, issued his own statement of support for Perdue's veto:
"Budgets are the most important governmental statement of values and provide the resources to effectuate those values. This budget propels North Carolina back in time and would directly, and by ripple effect, create tens of thousands more unemployed, seriously harm the academic capacity and credibility of our public schools, community colleges and universities, jeopardize the security and safety of our people, and rip large holes in our safety net of care for our most vulnerable citizens.
"All of this is avoidable by simply keeping most or all of the one penny emergency sales tax. I find the cost of not doing so crushing to the people of the state and no rational, non-ideological economic reason exists for the course embarked upon by the new Republican majority. I fear this budget will create many needless victims in this state, and is as unsound fiscally and morally, as it is unwise."
The vetoed budget bill, H200, returns today to the chamber of its origin, the House. The earliest date for a veto override vote would be Tuesday.