Local Politics

Political Maneuvering Leads Up to Special Session

Posted September 7, 2007 5:57 p.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2007 6:41 p.m. EDT

@NCCapitol

— E-mail messages were flying, phones were busy and arms were twisted Friday in advance of a special session of the General Assembly scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Lawmakers are set to consider overriding Gov. Mike Easley's veto of a bill that would have provided up to $40 million in state grants to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. over the next decade.

The company would have been eligible for the grants if it invested $200 million to upgrade its Fayetteville tire plant and limited any cuts to its work force. But Easley said the idea would set a bad precedent for economic development incentives in the state.

The drama starts in the House, where a vote of three-fifths of those present are needed to override the veto. At least four House members said they wouldn’t be at the special session, meaning 70 votes are needed.

Ninety-eight House members voted for the bill during the legislative session, but Republicans who supported it were being heavily lobbied Friday to sustain the veto.

State Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, is fighting for an override. An 11th-hour attempt to reach a compromise with Easley might solve the problem, he said.

“We’re going to try to work on that and hope that it will. But if it doesn’t, then we are prepared and are going to work on preparing for the override of the veto,” Glazier said.

Senate leaders said they are confident they have the votes for an override.