GOP: Perdue's veto will stand
Posted February 22, 2011 5:06 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2011 6:34 p.m. EST
Sounds like Gov. Bev Perdue won this round. At least for now.
Lawmakers had just wrapped up debate for the day when Perdue announced - online - that she had vetoed the first major piece of legislation they've sent her.
Senate Bill 13 would have given Perdue extended budget-cutting powers, a tool she asked lawmakers to give her. She said she could hold back some $300-$400 million from this year to help fill next year's gap. But the measure would also have taken about $75 million out of economic development funds the Governor and Democrats say are needed to help lure new jobs to the state.
Senate Leader Phil Berger stopped by the press room to announce that the GOP had decided not to try to override the veto. Senate Republicans have the three-fifths vote they'd need for an override, but House Republicans are four votes short of the magic number, so they would need to bring some Democrats along with them. House Democrats say that won't happen -- they say they'll stick together to sustain the veto.
Berger says when the veto message comes back, they'll send it to Senate Rules and let it die.
Instead, they'll move forward with a new bill that would require the Governor to cut almost $538 million out of the current-year budget, from just about anywhere she can find it. She's already identified about $400 million in cuts. The other $138 million would be the equivalent of the fund-balance cuts lawmakers were trying to make in S13.
You can see the new bill here. (It doesn't have a number yet.)
Earlier this afternoon, House Speaker Thom Tillis said he was "disappointed" by Perdue's veto.
"We’ll try to decide whether or not we go down the path of a veto override – we’ll have to look at votes -- or we just go down the path of making her accountable for what we think is a bad, bad budget decision."
Looks like it'll be the latter.