House overrides eighth Perdue veto

Posted June 14, 2012

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— The House voted Thursday to override one of Gov. Beverly Perdue's vetoes from last year, marking the eighth time the chamber has passed a bill over her objections.

House Bill 7 allows community colleges in North Carolina to opt out of the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.

Perdue vetoed the legislation in April 2011, but the House voted 71-46 to override it. The bill moves to the Senate, where Republicans hold enough votes to override it as well.

When Democrats controlled the legislature in 2010, they passed a law requiring the 58 community colleges across the state to participate in the student loan program. At the time, only 20 of the schools made federal loans available to students.

“House Bill 7 gives community colleges more flexibility to conduct financial aid as they see fit,” House Speaker Thom Tillis said in a statement. “It is a bill that many community colleges have requested, and the governor’s veto has resulted in many local bills having to be passed to accommodate the colleges."

Perdue said the override adds to previous moves that have made the Republican-led General Assembly "the most anti-public education legislature in North Carolina history."

"After cutting school funding and forcing the layoffs of more than 900 teachers and 2,000 teacher assistants, after punishing teachers for daring to oppose education cuts, after pushing a reform plan based on more requirements and less money and after proposing to raid the funds available for public schools in order to shell out a tax cut to corporations that give money to private schools, now the Republican legislature has closed a path to career training or college for potentially thousands of students," she said in a statement. "Public education is about opening doors for our young people – not slamming them. This is not the way to prepare our young people for a 21st century economy.”

Minority Leader Joe Hackney protested the override vote, saying the House was violating a provision in the state constitution by waiting 14 months before taking up Perdue's veto.

Other Democrats also argued unsuccessfully that community college students in North Carolina need greater access to student loans to get the training they need to obtain jobs.

"Community colleges are the key to training and retraining our workforce, and our citizens need access to these resources now more than ever," Walton Robinson, spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said in a statement. "By stripping away the financial aid options available to community college students, it is clear that Republicans are deliberately attempting to harm middle-class students and stifle our economic recovery."


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  • Spartan 136 Jun 18, 2012

    Save money by eliminating pell grants!!!!

  • whatelseisnew Jun 15, 2012

    As usual Perdue is wrong as is most leftists of her ilk. If we want any chance for the cost of higher education to go down, we should eliminate all government loan programs. As it stands now, Colleges have ZERO reason to compete and competition is the only thing that can lower costs. All this Government money creates a false demand just as what was created in housing. As a result the prices rise far outside the normal inflation rates. We have the same thing going on in Health Care as a result of Government interference in that industry.

  • Geez Louise Jun 15, 2012

    You shouldn't loan money in the first place to someone you think might not pay you back!

  • SENCLand Son Jun 15, 2012

    Well, if Purdue is right, and people are in agreement with her policies, why isn't she running for re-election??

  • Plenty Coups Jun 15, 2012

    "Can someone explain the downside to a CC from having these loans available?"

    They are for predominately lower income students. A higher percentage of these student's default on their loans. If a large enough percentage defaults, a college could lose federal funding as the U.S. government then has concerns about dropout numbers etc. The community colleges opposed giving these loans so that they wouldn't have as many dropouts.

  • paulkelly Jun 15, 2012

    Thanks WRAL,once again, for your "bi-partison" journalism. Problem is, I cant seem to find the GOP thoughts on the issue. Maybe they got lost in between all the whining by Bev and other Democrats...I'll keep looking....

  • carlostheass Jun 15, 2012

    "Can someone explain the downside to a CC from having these loans available? The only thing I can think of it that it might come with some administrative overhead, but if this generates a ton of paperwork because people are taking advantage of it, maybe it's something that's actually needed!" --davidk_at_unc

    Great question, David, and I'd be interested in the answer too. Balanced, professional journalism would call for covering that question as part of complete reporting, but no such luck with WRAL. Not a single quote was included from the GOP side or the community colleges that supported this new law to give us the complete picture.

  • fuzzmom Jun 15, 2012

    windsaloft, that sounds good in "theory" except that a lot of those "jobs" you want to create are gonna require "skills" that you can only get with higher education. Even if they don't technically require a certain skill set, many will be barred from getting them (even if they know how to do the job or are capable of learning it) because they don't meet a certain minimum requirmement a higher education. If everyone could go get a job right out of high school and take care of themselves and their families, it wouldn't be an issue. That's becoming less and less of the world we live in. Unfortunately, many employers are less willing to hire someone right out of high school because they don't have the basic skill sets of reading and writing.

  • fuzzmom Jun 15, 2012

    arfamr1007, it has somethign to do with being penalized for having a certain percentage of kids who don't do well academically. I can't remember the specifics, but there was definitely a penalty based on the performance of the students.

  • kjones026 Jun 15, 2012

    "When Democrats controlled the legislature in 2010, they passed a law requiring the 58 community colleges across the state to participate in the student loan program. At the time, only 20 of the schools made federal loans available to students." Is it really the governments job to "require" CC's to participate in student loan programs? Here's a thought; why don't we "require" the government to stop spending beyond their means. Something that would benefit everyone. We have way too many laws on the books. Time to repeal a few.