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@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

GOP: No new benefits bill in sight

Posted April 19, 2011 11:28 a.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2011 12:50 p.m. EDT

Republican legislative leaders said today they would attempt to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto this weekend of House Bill 383. The poison-pill measure would have extended federal benefits for 37,000 jobless workers, but it would also have forced Perdue to agree to deep budget cuts for next year.

“We’re disappointed to see the vetoes come down,” House Speaker Thom Tillis said.

Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger said the timeframe for the override attempt hasn’t yet been established. They expect to start those discussions today.

When asked whether they would consider a compromise measure that would simply extend the benefits without any political advantage, Tillis and Berger said there were no plans to introduce one.

“We sent a bill to the governor that extended those benefits,” Tillis said.

“We need to remember we’re talking about folks who’ve already received benefits for 77 weeks,” Berger added.

Berger and Tillis also said they had offered their help to the governor in response to Saturday’s tornado outbreak. They recommended using prison inmates to help clear debris from farm fields. And they said they would come up with the money needed for a 25% match for any federal assistance the state may get.

“We’re fully prepared to look at whatever proposal we get from the Emergency Management folks,” said Berger. He said the state still has $150 million left in its “rainy day fund” for emergencies like this. “We’re confident we’ll be able to find the dollars.”

Watch the whole press conference below.