Starnes: Gov McCrory Will Have Trouble Keeping Vetoes

RALEIGH – A top North Carolina House Republican leader says GOP Gov. Pat McCrory appears to have an “uphill battle” to preserve his first two vetoes as governor.

House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes said Monday most of his Republican colleagues he’s heard from don’t plan to change how they voted on the two bills, which passed comfortably last month in the House and Senate.

One vetoed bill would have required drug testing for some welfare benefit applicants. The other would have expanded the exemption for employers required to use the E-Verify identification system for temporary workers.

McCrory must call legislators back to Raleigh for an override session by Sept. 4. He also still has 35 bills on his desk to sign, veto or let become law without his signature by this Sunday.

Veto No. 2: Seasonal Work Limit Remains 90 Days

RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory says he took a stand Thursday to protect your state’s jobs with his second veto while in office. He vetoed House Bill 786, entitled the Reclaim NC Act.

The Governor says the bill would have allowed businesses to overlook a greater number of employees and whether or not they are legal citizens. He says, “Every job an illegal immigrant takes is one less job available for a legal North Carolina citizen.”

Seasonal workers are currently allowed 90 days of employment without going through the E-Verify process to check their citizenship. The bill Gov. McCrory vetoed would have extended the seasonal worker definition to nearly nine months, which the Governor says concerns him because it would open areas other than agriculture to the lack of review of employees.

***The bill would have created a study of whether or not to extend the seasonal worker limit past 90 days.

Veto No. 1: No Drug Tests For Welfare Applicants

Photo by Jim Bowen

CHAPEL HILL – Your North Carolina senator, Ellie Kinnaird, has one point of positive feedback for Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of the Welfare Drug Testing bill, but she says the Governor didn’t get everything right.

“He did the right thing,” Senator Kinnaird says. “Now, as far as the fleeing felons, is this a problem? We kind of doubt it. He’s probably on pretty good grounds that they can fix it later on. I just don’t think that there are that many fugitive felons that are applying for temporary assistance for needy families or any of these social services.”

Thursday, Gov. McCrory vetoed his first bill since being in office—House Bill 392—which would have required drug screening of those applying for welfare assistance.

The executive order Gov. McCrory signed along with the veto is entitled “Strengthening Fugitive Apprehension and Protecting Public Benefits.” In a release, Gov. McCrory says he wants to “ensure that fugitive felons are not on public assistance rolls.”

However, Senator Kinnaird says there are other ways to make sure the welfare program is protected.

“They always have background checks available; they’re not that hard to come by,” Senator Kinnaird says. “What it would do is make it more selective. So, I really think that this is a common sense veto on his part, and it will greatly relieve our departments or social services that are already stretched thin.”

Gov. McCrory also says he vetoed the drug screening bill because it would be a burden on taxpayers and that other states with similar laws showed little positive feedback for fighting drug addiction.

The bill passed the house and senate in overwhelming fashion. The Senate approved it 42-4 while the House approved it 92-21 with three no votes.