Governor Vetoes State Budget
Special Report - June 13, 2011
On Sunday afternoon, Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed the $19.7 billion State budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that was sent to her on June 4 by the General Assembly, focusing much of her decision on the proposed cuts in the area of education. “As I’ve reviewed the General Assembly’s plan for how North Carolina should run the next two years, I’ve found it is an ideologically driven budget that rips at our classrooms and campuses, our environment and quality of life, our services for the needy and ill, and the safety of our streets and communities,” Governor Perdue said in her statement. “I will not put my name on a plan that so blatantly ignores the values of North Carolina’s people.” In contrast to the budget passed by the General Assembly, Governor Perdue’s proposed budget allotted $19.9 billion in total government spending, and kept in place a temporary one-cent sales tax increase that is scheduled to expire this year.
HB 200-Appropriations Act of 2011 passed in the House on May 4 and in the Senate on June 2, with the House concurring on June 4 with Senate changes. Governor Perdue received the first Republican written budget passed by the legislature in more than a century on June 4. Under state law, the Governor has 10 days while the legislature is in session to act on a piece of legislation, either signing it into law, allowing the bill to become law without her signature, or issuing a veto.
HB 200 represents a $1 billion decrease in state spending over 2010-2011 levels. The Associated Press has compiled a bullet-point list of highlights of HB 200 from the budget category.
During the process of putting the budget together, Republicans in the General Assembly defended the proposed cuts, arguing that the state government had grown too large and needed to be “right-sized.” One key sticking point between the Governor’s proposal and the legislature’s was the one-cent sales tax increase, which was passed as a temporary tax increase two years ago. Although Governor Perdue made public statements at the time, ensuring the public that the measure would only be temporary, she later retracted those statements, arguing that keeping the tax increase was necessary to protect state funds for education. Republicans in the General Assembly, on the other hand, have roundly rejected any extension of the increase.
According to WRAL, House Speaker Tom Tillis (RMecklenburg) expressed his disappointment in the Governor’s decision to veto the State budget bill in a statement, and added, “We look forward to overriding the Governor’s last-minute veto very soon.” An override vote could be held in the General Assembly as early as Tuesday, June 14, and with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, there may be enough votes to override the Governor’s veto. Republicans hold a super-majority in the Senate, and HB 200 passed in the House by a vote of 73-45, a margin that, if maintained, would give the bill the three-fifths majority needed to override the gubernatorial veto in that chamber as well.
House Passes State Budget - May 6, 2011
House Takes Up Budget - April 29, 2011
Legislative Highlights - April 21, 2011
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