Perdue 'prepared to veto'
Posted June 4, 2011 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated June 4, 2011 5:06 p.m. EDT
State Senate lawmakers met this morning to ratify the state's first Republican budget plan in more than a century. It arrived on the Governor's desk at 10:15 this morning.
The $19.7 billion budget earned final approval in the House early this morning, winning a supermajority - 73 of 120 votes. Five Democrats joined the Republican majority in supporting the bill: Jim Crawford, Bill Owens, Bill Brisson, Dewey Hill, and Tim Spear.
GOP leaders say the proposal's public education spending is less than one percent lower than Perdue had proposed. But Democrats say the devil's in the details of how the cuts are spelled out.
Senate Republicans already have a veto-proof majority. And if the five House Democrats vote again with their Republican colleagues, the House would be able to override a veto, too. They've signaled that's a likely scenario.
Perdue wouldn't say Friday whether she would veto the bill. But her statement today certainly sounds like it's a strong possibility:
"Education is the hallmark of this state. Leaders before me have had the courage and the foresight to invest in our education system knowing it is what distinguishes North Carolina as one of the greatest states in the nation.
"I will carefully review the budget passed by the General Assembly, but believe me when I say: I will not be the first governor to abandon our schools, our community colleges and our university system. I am prepared to veto this budget if my review indeed shows what I fear – that North Carolina will move backwards under this budget plan."
Perdue has until 11:59pm on Tuesday, June 16th to decide what to do with the GOP budget. If she doesn't use her veto stamp by that time, the measure will automatically become law with or without her signature.