Perdue vetoes state budget

Posted June 12, 2011
Updated June 13, 2011

— Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the General Assembly's $19.7 billion, two-year budget Sunday afternoon. After a reiteration of her belief that investment in education has been the hallmark of North Carolina's success, Perdue said, "I will not put my name on a plan that so blatantly ignores the values that have built this great North Carolina."

Gov. Perdue explains her veto of state budget Gov. Perdue explains her veto of state budget

Her move appears to set up an override vote as early as Tuesday in the General Assembly.

“We’re disappointed in the governor’s veto today," House Speaker Tom Tillis said in a statement.

He criticized Perdue's delay in deciding on the veto, saying that "she has shown no leadership on this issue and no willingness to work with the legislature, choosing instead to veto a budget that protects education and creates jobs. We look forward to overriding the governor’s last-minute veto very soon."

The Republican majority appears to have the support for an override. They hold a super majority in the Senate, strong enough to override a veto. In the House, the GOP is four votes short of a super-majority, but five Democrats voted for the bill when it passed, making it appear veto-proof.

"The General Assembly, many of them, may be satisfied with a state moving in reverse, but I am not," Perdue said.

State law requires the budget to be approved by July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

Since the budget's passage on June 4, Perdue has said she was carefully reviewing the plan. She publicly criticized the budget several times this week, saying that its education spending makes her "sad for our state and our people."

"This budget is a living document," Perdue said Sunday. "It is a reflection of our values as North Carolina."

For the governor, those values include investment in education. Education spending and closing a $2.4 billion projected shortfall have been at the center of the budget debate.

Perdue has pushed for an extension of sales taxes intended to be temporary as a means of retaining teachers' jobs. The Republican majority, many of whom ran on a platform of lowered taxes, emphasized the need to find savings rather that maintain that tax.

Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange, backed the governor's veto.

"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," he said.

The budget bill reduces funding for school administrators and support staff by $120 million and adds money to hire 1,100 new teachers in early grades. Republicans point out this budget spends $300 million more on public schools and $100 million on the University of North Carolina System than an earlier House version.

Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, issued a statement blasting the governor's move as partisan pandering. 

“The same governor who claims to champion job creation and public education has vetoed a bipartisan budget that does more for both causes than her own proposal," he said.

Senate Democrats contend the bill would eliminate jobs in the public sector. They cite documents from public schools, including the University of North Carolina system and community colleges, saying the Senate budget would eliminate 13,000 positions.

Republicans also expect the state to gain tens of thousands of private-sector jobs from letting the temporary sales tax expire and offering a small-business tax break. 

Perdue has also criticized the budget for consolidating and cutting spending on early childhood education programs Smart Start and More at Four.

"Now for the first time, North Carolina has a legislature that's turning its back on our schools, our children, our long-standing investments in education and our future economic prospects," she said.


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  • THE ETERNAL Jun 13, 2011

    Bev for President and Hillary for VP (or Michele) 2016.

  • FE Jun 13, 2011

    "Pull the democrat and republican blinders off and put your anger where it belongs - on those of both parties who couldn't care less who pays and who loses so long as their own pockets are overflowing." - genralwayne

    This observation is very much correct.

    Many folks here are bringing up the issues of "raises" given to staff members by the House Speaker.

    While a reasonable person would feel that such is improper, rest assured that such has been going on within the Legislature for a very long time and by many (most) politicians there.

    Due to several situations, I've personally seen over the years the ridiculously high salaries that an "employee" working on Jones St makes in comparison to what a similar employee elsewhere in state government receives.

    The ONLY difference this time is now #1 the newspapers felt it necessary to tell us about it and #2 the party in power just happens to be the Republicans.

    Otherwise it is only, quite simply, "business as usual."


  • Plenty Coups Jun 13, 2011

    Nancy-"Except we're competing nationally to race into the top ten in per capita tax burden...... we USED to be 24th back in 2000, now we rank 16th highest tax burden per capita in NC as of 2009."

    We used to be 13th in 2007. I'd say we're moving the other way. Especially in education we're we'll rank next to last. Besides, our overall spending as a percentage of our GNP has gone down the last tento fifteen years.


  • genralwayne Jun 13, 2011

    "If you and I can agree... Flow Easy"

    Flow, you will never hear me rant about "The Democrats this..." or "The Republicans that..." One party is as corrupt and full of themselves as the other and both have one common goal - to stay in power at our expense rather than to our benefit. They have different methods of achieving this, but it all revolves around the money in our pockets.

    Until we find genuine leaders who understand that "govern" does not equate to "herding and sheering" we're stuck with the likes of Perdue, Tillis, Black, and so on.

  • lrbrown Jun 13, 2011

    Her blind loyalty to state employees shows why public employees should not hold office. America's spending on public education is the highest in the world on a per capita basis and we get absolutely poor results.

    Ms. Perdue is protecting mediocrity with this veto. She had our votes last time, but no more. Her priorities are to the process of government, not government to the masses.

  • Come On_Seriously Jun 13, 2011

    Sorry for the redundancy- I'm not necessarily going to read all 250 comments prior to commenting myself.

    Though my leanings do not tend to be conservative (some do), I have to agree with you- "Pull the democrat and republican blinders off and put your anger where it belongs - on those of both parties who couldn't care less who pays and who loses so long as their own pockets are overflowing."

    If you and I can agree, surely our leaders can figure a way to not spend unwisely or cut foolishly. Otherwise, we must find a way to see to it that they do not return. We spend more time being petty and yelling about who's wrong than discussing what's right. Nothing changes until we make smart changes in leadership.

  • Nancy Jun 13, 2011

    And no one talks about this............. it's a balloon 'pension' issue waiting to come due


  • davedonahue Jun 13, 2011

    Everyone is talking about the "Extending the 1 cent sales tax to cover the loss of funds in the budget" but lets lok at Purdue and the Democrats history in NC. First we get the lottery passed to increase funding to Schools only to have the state cut tax dollars going to schools as the lottery was used to fill this gap, not supplemnet it. Next Bev takes money from both the DOT and Environmental fund that BY LAW is required to go to these funds. Bev and her office are still being sued over this, which we are all paying for. The House and Senate passed a law saying where that money should go and she feels like she can do as she feels. Which brings me to point.... If we would extend this 1% sales tax, with Bev in charge, we have no promise of that money actually being used for schools!!!! Bev feels like she can do what she wants!! Shame on any of us giving her more money to do with what she wants.

    Dave in Benson

  • davisgw Jun 13, 2011

    There is hope that Perdue and Obama will be looking for new jobs before they can do more damage.

  • ghimmy51 Jun 13, 2011

    Did anyone notice the two years of articles HERE about the Governor's massive cuts in the state budget and consolidation of departments? No? I thought not. That Alzheimer's is a horrible disease, even worse than ignorance. After making deep cuts the RESPONSIBLE thing to do is look at essential services and keep that ONE CENT SALES TAX WE HAVE ALREADY!!! Voila! Problems solved.