House overrides budget veto in midnight vote

Posted June 14, 2011
Updated June 15, 2011

— House lawmakers met just after midnight on Wednesday to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the two-year state budget.

Perdue vetoed the $19.7 billion budget on Sunday, specifically criticizing its cuts in education spending. House rules did not allow for an override vote until Wednesday.

The House, where the GOP is four votes short of a super-majority, overrode that veto 73-46, with the help of five Democrats who voted for the bill when it passed originally.

Lead budget writer Rep. Harold Brubaker, R-Randolph, said the budget Perdue vetoed is only 1.5 percent smaller than her own spending plan. He said critics' warnings the budget will cost the state tens of thousands of jobs are exaggerated.  

"Ladies and gentlemen, the sky is not falling," Brubaker said. "North Carolina will be living within their means." 

But Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, disagreed. "You cannot hide this budget in the dead of night," Hackney said. "It is the worst education budget in modern history." 

"It is a sad, sad day for North Carolina," Hackney added. 

Rep. Dewey Hill, D-Columbus, is one of the five Democrats who joined the GOP in voting to override the veto. He said he had many calls of support. 

"We thought it was the best we could do," Hill said after the vote. "It's a good budget. I can go to sleep tonight on it." 

"This budget is fiscally responsible and economically sustainable," House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said in a statement.  "It reverses a decades-long trend of state government spending beyond its means and puts over a billion dollars back into the hands of North Carolinians. This is a good day for our state."

House overrides governor's budget veto House overrides governor's budget veto

The majority Republican Senate is expected to vote on the override either Wednesday or Thursday.

Following the vote, Perdue issued a statement calling the budget shortsighted and irresponsible. 

"Tonight, the Republican-controlled legislature turned its back on North Carolina's long-standing commitment to our people to provide quality schools, community colleges and universities – all to save a penny," she said. 

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

Perdue is North Carolina's first chief executive to veto a budget bill.  The veto override is only the second in state history. 


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  • crouch1010 Jun 16, 2011

    The great state of Texas, which has been a red state forever, is having the same budget problems as North Carolina. They are even cutting on HS athletics and if anyone knows how sacred HS football is in Texas, they will recognize cutting into HS football there will probably be the horn that sounds the alarm that their is a bigger problem than party allegiance and spending.

    America has lost too many jobs and is not creating enough. Once the solution to reducing unemployment and putting more people on payrolls so they pay taxes also, then the budget deficits will decrease. No, if's, ands or buts. But none of the current policies create job growth or stimulate demand. Cutting taxes too low actually slows the economy because employers can maintain a certain profit level with less workers and have less need to increase profits with workers. This problem is permanent until we increase the tax rate on corporations. Small businesses are another matter. But large corporations are the problem.

  • BIlzac Jun 15, 2011

    But I bet we didn't gloat when those people lost their jobs. I bet we felt bad for them. I bet we railed about the injustice of a government that allows corporations to close up shop in the US and transport our jobs to India, Mexico, and other places.

    Of course those same companies are now welcomed back by our GOP. And not only welcomed back, but let's also offer them some tax breaks to reward them for (taking those jobs away but) bringing them back after they got what they wanted.

    Furthermore, let's stop expecting them to do things the right way. Let's stop holding them responsible for their mistakes, even if they wind up hurting people. Let's reduce, nay I say let's eliminated federal rules and regulations on how they operate.

    It's ok.

    Everyone has their opinion.

    I'm sure there have been meanspirited Democrats on these threads too.

    Shame on every single one of us.

  • BIlzac Jun 15, 2011

    I'm glad so many of you have had this day to gloat over your victory.

    If your gloating comes at the expense of real people working real jobs (and NO, NOT just in education for crying out loud), never you mind.

    We are in the age of heavenly private sector and demonic public sector.

    Everyone likes to share anecdotes about a public employee drawing a six figure salary while sharpening pencils in an office. It plays well to your ears, and no doubt if you look hard enough you can find one (which only guarantees that we will now see post after post of "eye witness" reports of the hundreds, nay thousands of such people).

    Meanwhile, the end result is the same. Your friends, your neighbors, and, at the very least, your fellow citizens of North Carolina are losing jobs.

    And hey, that's ok. Lots of other people are losing their jobs.

  • Danny22 Jun 15, 2011

    I fear we did not cut enough spending. I am a retired educator and I would not have minded paying monthly for my health insurance. I've had it free for 35 years.

  • misschris234 Jun 15, 2011

    ""Primarily funded" where does the rest come from? (I could not find any real info) Also, does that cover cutting / planting grass across the countless miles of highway within our state. Could that money be better used for schools?"

    Maybe we could start the NC Highway Lottery!!!!! The budget includes $7.5 billion for public schools...Yes, many of the programs are being consolidated and cut, the pre-k programs should be paid for by parents. There is still 250M in unused federal funds. There is about 1/2% difference in this budget and bev's when all is said and done.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 15, 2011

    "So why don't they cut funding to mowing the side of highways and stop planting all those flowers next to exits. But they picked education to 'trim' from and that is why the budget was vetoed. That sounds like the financially responsible party to me. - WooHoo2You"

    It's part of the political game. Bev's original budget took money from education along with moving the so called educational lottery money to other items to balance the budget.

  • misschris234 Jun 15, 2011

    Some of the budget points listed above... cuts for TA's, janitors, admin, etc. That needed to happen. Fees increasing which is fine, great actually. Driver's Ed shouldn't be free. Ferries shouldn't be free. There were cuts for UNC, but I've seen the tuition fees, I'm not crying over those. 12% reduction in spending for Dept of Environment... fine.

  • misschris234 Jun 15, 2011

    The budget approved by the House cuts more than $360 million for teacher assistants, janitors, clerical workers, assistant principals, and programs. IT also includes a provision that makes the State Board of Education, not local boards, responsible for setting policy on how impending school layoffs will be handled. The House plan also increases many fees, including: High school students would pay up to $75 for driver education classes that were previously free. Criminal defendants will pay up to $70 more in court fees, and pay $10 for each night they spend instead of the prior $5/night fee.
    Community college classes will cost more, and so will a variety of state licenses and inspection fees. Commuters who travel to work on two busy coastal river ferries, now free, will have to pay tolls or buy passes that could cost up to $100 a month.
    Drivers with speeding tickets and other defendants would pay $24 more in costs for District Court, and $52 more for Superior Court.

  • WooHoo2You Jun 15, 2011

    So why don't they cut funding to mowing the side of highways and stop planting all those flowers next to exits. But they picked education to 'trim' from and that is why the budget was vetoed. That sounds like the financially responsible party to me."

    The NC Wildflower Program is primarily funded by sales of personalized license plates and public donation.-misschris234

    "Primarily funded" where does the rest come from? (I could not find any real info) Also, does that cover cutting / planting grass across the countless miles of highway within our state. Could that money be better used for schools?

    I would rather more kids graduating than a pretty flower I pass doing 65 miles per hour...

  • misschris234 Jun 15, 2011

    "That sounds like the financially responsible party to me."

    Same financially responsible party that has been dipping into the NC Education Lottery proceeds for everything OTHER than education? The one that took $50M from the education fund leaving it empty? The one that took $38M allocated for school construction? Oh yeah... REAL concerned about education obviously.