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Lawmakers override Perdue's budget, fracking vetoes

Posted July 2, 2012
Updated July 3, 2012

— The North Carolina General Assembly voted late Monday to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s vetoes of the $20.2 billion 2012-13 state budget as well as a controversial measure to legalize fracking.

The vote to override Perdue's veto on a bill that would open the state up to shale gas exploration passed by a close 72-47 margin, and it appears to have hinged on a mistake. 

After she voted, Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, could be heard on her microphone saying, “Oh my gosh. I pushed green.”

House Majority Leader Paul Stam used a procedural motion to make sure the bill can’t be reconsidered, even if Carney's vote was mistake. 

Perdue said she hope the General Assembly will reconsider the issue.

"It’s disappointing that the leaders in General Assembly would allow fracking without ensuring that adequate protections will be in place for drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and the safety of families in North Carolina," she said in a statement.

The fracking vote came around 11 p.m., a little more than an hour after the House moved to override the budget veto in a 74-45 vote. The Senate quickly followed with a 31-10 vote to override the budget veto.

House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said it was 10th time since January 2011 that a majority in the House voted to override a gubernatorial veto.

“For the second year in a row, Republicans and Democrats in the House have voted together in a bipartisan manner to pass a common-sense budget over the partisan objections of the governor,” he said in a statement. “This budget builds on the fiscally conservative foundation of last year’s budget, but restores funding in critical areas.”

Lawmakers override one veto, others in question Lawmakers override state budget veto

He said the budget provides more than $250 million in additional funds to public education, including a 1.2 percent pay raise for teachers. It addresses funding problems in the Medicaid system, cuts and caps the gas tax, provides state employees with a pay raise and gives retirees a cost-of-living increase.

“It accomplishes all of this without incurring debt or raising taxes,” Tillis said. “I am proud of the bipartisan majority who stood together to override the veto, and for the second time in two years, we have passed a budget that will benefit every North Carolinian.”

Perdue disagreed, saying the budget weakens support for education, law enforcement and job growth.

"The General Assembly forced a flawed budget on the people of North Carolina today," she said in a statement. "Under their budget, schools will receive $190 million less next year than they received this year; economic development initiatives to help companies create jobs in the biotech and manufacturing sectors will go unfunded; and North Carolina families will be less safe because there won’t be enough probation officers." 

Perdue said she tried repeatedly to reach a bipartisan compromise, but leaders of the General Assembly “chose confrontation over compromise. This budget doesn’t do enough to invest in our future; it isn’t good enough for North Carolina."

Six Democrats voted for the override: Reps. Marcus Brandon, Guilford; Darren Jackson, Wake; Marian McLawhorn, Pitt; Bill Brisson, Bladen; Dewey Hill, Columbus; and Jim Crawford, Granville.

One Democrat, Rep. Suzi Hamilton, New Hanover, did not vote.

Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, supported the governor’s veto and called the budget a “disappointment.”

“We can do better, we should do better, and we owe it to all the people of N.C. to take a crack at making this a better budget,” she said. 

House Minority Leader Joe Hackney also urged lawmakers to support the veto, calling the spending plan “a budget of lost opportunities.”

“It does take us backward. It does make us less competitive,” he said. “We will be less competitive for the jobs of the future because of this budget.”

But Republican lawmakers prevailed.

“This is the sound budget that North Carolina needs to move forward,” said Rep. Harold Brubaker, R-Randolph, senior budget chairman.

Rep. Darren Jackson said he voted for the override because he has many state employees in his district.

“The alternative is that the layoffs will begin tomorrow, because the Senate, the House and the governor have spent the last three or four weeks playing chicken,” Jackson said. “That’s a risk I am not willing to take.”

Earlier Monday, state lawmakers voted to override Perdue's veto of a bill that overhauls the landmark Racial Justice Act.

After 90 minutes of debate, the Senate voted 31-11 to override Perdue's veto. The House followed suit with a 72-48 vote. The measure now becomes law.

The original version of the 2009 law allowed defendants to challenge their death sentence based on statistical data. Now, statistical data alone is no longer enough to convert sentences to life in prison, and defendants would have to show details particular to their case in order to be successful.

145 Comments

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  • whocares Jul 3, 4:33 p.m.

    All for the almighty dollar. I wonder how much the gas lobby paid for this vote? I am sick and tired of people making money for putting the health and welfare of the people they are "supposed" to be representing. All this will do is raise taxes, which are already too high as it is, and there will be no new jobs because outside companies will ruin the environment.

  • rsmith6120 Jul 3, 4:13 p.m.

    WOW! All for the almighty short term dollar and more failure on the horizon. Government will always look to justify spending more money than they have. Ever look on the gas pump on how the state taxes a gallon of gas? "Supposedly" tax to improvement of our roads. They use to call North Carolina the good roads state. I spent last week traveling and I found our roads no better than the rest. So where is our money going? My guess is in the pockets of those that put the tax in place. Why not do the first set of fracking in the back yard of the lawmakers and see how they start to think then? Fracking is nothing but a bandaid to a much larger problem which is our state government over spending.

  • Tcheuchter Jul 3, 4:03 p.m.

    "THOSE DEFENDING FRACKING NEED TO DO ALOT OF READING ON THE IRREVERSiBLE DAMAGE."

    You are assuming they can understand what they read....doubtful at best. For them its just another Four legs Good, two leg Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!

  • pappybigtuna1 Jul 3, 3:59 p.m.

    This was and is about 3 bills vetoed by bev, they have been overturned as they should have.

    Then I read some yokle saying this is Bush's fault - HELLO this is July 3, 2012, where have you been?

    Get the story straight - 1st of all it was under Bill Clinton that forced the 2 Fed Mortgage Institutes to lower the requirements for home loans, knowing that people would fail on the loans. Then the Mega-Bankers thought by buying FED covered notes they could clean house.

    Along come Bush, his advisors saw what was happening but could not advise on how to divert the catastrophy that was boiling.

    Along comes obama who dishes out our money to save the bankers, they gave themselves bonuses

    NOW YOU HAVE THE WHOLE STORY, TRY TO GET IT RIGHT

  • seal5050 Jul 3, 3:30 p.m.

    THE Clean Water Act federal law that established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the US regulating quality standards for surface waters. It suppose to prohibit discharge of any pollutants into water without a permit. This means that with a permit, somebody can pollute our water. Halliburton Loophole was enacted by former Vice President Dick Chaney (also former executive of Halliburton, the inventor of hydrofracking..It stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing THIS IS a law that would protect our water, our health, and our environment from hydrofracking does not, thanks to a Loophole created in 2005, during the Bush Administration/REPUBLICAN CONGRESS/SENATE. THANKS..WILL THE INSANITY AND GREED OF SOME EVER STOP? Once the water is ruined, NOTHING CAN MAKE IT CLEAN..THOSE DEFENDING FRACKING NEED TO DO ALOT OF READING ON THE IRREVERSiBLE DAMAGE.

  • BigBangTheorist Jul 3, 3:14 p.m.

    "Guys-guys-the Fracking Bill does not say drill now!!!" - You obviously didn't read the bill. The bill allows for a committee to be appointed, and 9 of the 14 appointees will be members of the energy companies. Do you think they will ever rule on the side of the landowner? "Natural gas is the way to go-clean-available here in America, far fewer modifications needed to vehicles!! And right now-natural gas is pretty cheap." - Another good reason NOT to frack! "Let's look at it and see if fracking is the way to go-it may not be!! But, the Legislature has said let's look farther!!" -The legislature isn't going to properly "look into" anything. They have given the energy department 6 months to produce a study, and didn't bother to fund it. "Pat will be careful with fracking. Dalton is a joke!" -I thought you were against big government, yet you foolishly look to Pat McCrory like he is the second coming. He is a politician, and as such, he is only running to feed his over-inflated ego.

  • westernwake1 Jul 3, 3:01 p.m.

    'No matter if you support fracking, oppose it, or you are indifferent to the issue... the refusal to allow any representative to correct their vote when the wrong button was mistakenly pushed is PETTY POLITICS at its WORST!!! Perhaps preventing her to correct her vote is "allowed" under legislative voting "rules/procedures", but I'll bet it was not prevented by the rules. The Republicans appear to have literally "pounced on" this opportunity to get what they want - the hell with civility and simply "common decency". The notion of respect, civility, and simply being "ladies and gentlemen" inside (and outside) the Legislative chambers has indeed "gone to hell".' - Objective Scientist

    Actually if the Republicans told her "Oh OK, go change your vote" then she really would have been upset - she would have to given back all those campaign contributions given to her by the Fracking industry.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 3, 2:51 p.m.

    Fracking is legal in PA where I come from.

    A church allowed a company to drill beneath their land. The shale was fractured and created gas leaks that came up in a creek nearby. It also affected nearby wells, and when neighbors there turned on their water faucets, gas bubbles came out with the water causing terrible risk.

    The neighbors were all evacuated and the situation was examined.

    Finally the state engineers ordered the well caped, and that stopped a part of the gas leakage, but it couldn't stop it all because of the fractures to the shale levels underground.

    Some of those homes are still empty and can't be lived in because of gas leakage.

    Can you imagine turning on your kitchen faucet, holding a match to the water coming out and seeing a flame burst out? That's what happened, thank God to a small degree, but if that had hit a nearby pilot light on a stove, Lord only knows how big a fire could have been started.

    Now we have it here. Congrats legislature!!! < sarcasm >

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 3, 2:47 p.m.

    I think we're all going to be sorry this passed.

    Perhaps VERY sorry.

  • Tcheuchter Jul 3, 2:28 p.m.

    " Solar and wind are proven FRAUDS that don't work."

    Really that would be a big surprise to all the Countries and States where it works just fine.

    "Natural Gas does work."

    Its only one years gas for NC....ie too little to any difference in prices (which are in any case very low right now)

    " Stop trying to hurt working families with your demand for high energy prices."

    And for all those working families with wells.....what they going to do when the water is polluted? The gas would be gone in a few years and the water would be fouled forever......not much of a deal.

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