Berger: Perdue vetoes 'desperate,' 'indecisive'

Senate Leader Phil Berger blasted Gov. Bev Perdue today for vetoing "job-creating" bills on regulatory reform and energy exploration.

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Laura Leslie
Perdue's vetoes today may have won her accolades from environmental advocates, but GOP lawmakers weren't exactly cheering.

A statement from Senate Leader Phil Berger said the four measures vetoed today were "designed to provide certainty for job-creating businesses in the private sector," noting that "unemployment in North Carolina remains higher than the national average, and the state’s economy has shed more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years."

From Berger's statement: 

“Not so long ago, Gov. Perdue claimed to champion several of the issues she rejected. An indecisive, politically-desperate politician trying to cater to her base, she now stands squarely with fringe environmental groups and liberal special interests in opposing the job-creating sector of North Carolina’s economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).

Berger said if the governor had legitimate constitutional concerns, she should have voiced them before today.

Veto of SB 709, Energy Jobs Act:

“At a time when North Carolina families and businesses are struggling with outrageous energy costs, Gov. Perdue rejected a golden opportunity to develop affordable and clean energy alternatives that would create thousands of new, good-paying jobs,” Berger said. “Once again, she caved to her liberal political allies instead of doing what’s best for our state.”

The Energy Jobs Act directed the governor to begin negotiating a tri-state pact with the governors of Virginia and South Carolina to encourage President Obama to allow offshore energy exploration.

It also directed her to work with North Carolina’s Congressional delegation to advocate for state revenue-sharing for resources off the coast, and directed how that money would be spent. Nearly half of the funds would have gone to jobs training, energy research and conservation.

North Carolina’s offshore energy reserves are thought to be mostly natural gas – the cleanest fossil fuel. The state has 64 million federal offshore acres, the most on the East Coast and the fourth largest acreage in the country.

Veto of SB 781, Regulatory Reform Act:

“This is a common-sense bill that passed the Senate unanimously. Thousands of burdensome and confusing regulations are creating uncertainty in the private sector and crippling the job-creating businesses that will lead us out of the recession,” Berger said. “We will keep fighting to reform the bloated bureaucracy Gov. Perdue helped create.”

SB 781 clarifies and simplifies some of North Carolina’s confusing and outdated regulations, making it easier for citizens and businesses to attain permits and rely on more predictable guidelines. State agencies have added or changed more than 15,000 rules over the past decade.

Among other important improvements, the bill:

- Prohibits any state environmental rules that are more restrictive than federal regulations
- Requires the state to review and eliminate burdensome rules annually
- Gives judges, not agencies, the final say in disputed cases

- Provides more time and opportunity for public input on crafting and changing rules, making the process more transparent

House Speaker Thom Tillis hasn't yet issued a statement on the final three vetoes, though he criticized the "language" of her earlier veto of S532 as "fake and plastic." 



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