Gov. Bev Perdue has vetoed three more bills, for a total of four red stamps in the final hours before the bills would have become law.
The vetoed bills include S781 Regulatory Reform Act of 2011, S709 Energy Jobs Act, and S496 Medicaid and Health Choice Provider Requirements. Perdue says all three violate the state constitution.
Her statement on S496 says it falls afoul of both the NC constitution and federal Medicaid law, but she "urges" the legislature to revisit it:
“There are many aspects of Senate Bill 496 that I support. However, one section of the bill would take final decision-making authority away from the Department of Health and Human Services and instead give it to the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Attorney General has repeatedly declared that such a transfer of final authority from a state agency to OAH violates our State Constitution. Furthermore, in addition to being unconstitutional, this transfer of authority from DHHS to OAH would also violate federal Medicaid law. Because I do not have a line-item veto, I am unable to veto only this one portion of the bill and must instead veto the bill in its entirety.”
Perdue's statement on S781 also urges lawmakers to come back to the issue, but says it makes the same unconstitutional move that S496 did:
“I am committed to maintaining and enhancing North Carolina’s business-friendly climate so that businesses will continue to invest and grow jobs here. Providing regulatory certainty to our businesses is an important component of that effort. Therefore, I am strongly in favor of regulatory reform. Through my existing Executive Order, I have spearheaded the effort to improve our State’s regulatory system by taking a balanced approach that protects our economy, public safety, public health, and the environment, and I will continue to do so. While I wholeheartedly support the General Assembly’s desire to pass laws aimed at reforming our bureaucracy, those laws have to be balanced and meet constitutional standards. Senate Bill 781 fails this test. It would take final decision-making authority in certain circumstances away from state agencies and instead give it to the Office of Administrative Hearings – a result that the Attorney General has repeatedly declared is in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. I urge the General Assembly to revisit the issue of regulatory reform.”
And finally, her statement on S709 says the bill violates the separation of powers by ordering the Governor to take executive action. But it came with two executive orders establishing an "Offshore Wind Economic Development Task Force" and expanding the Governor's Scientific Advisory Panel on Energy:
“I believe Senate Bill 709 is unconstitutional as it infringes on the powers assigned to the Governor of North Carolina.
"I am completely committed to North Carolina's energy policy of developing jobs that foster America's energy independence. I have been working on this for two years. Because of my experience in this area, I know it is critical that we plan and prepare for any eventual federal approval to move forward. We cannot wait until we have authorization to get ready, we must do that now.
Therefore, I am issuing Executive Orders #96 and #97.”