By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
September 4, 2013
RALEIGH — Lawmakers were in Raleigh briefly this week to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s vetoes on two bills; one that will require drug-testing for some welfare recipients and another dealing with seasonal workers.
The House voted on the bills Tuesday, the Senate following suit on Wednesday, after which the Governor released a lengthy statement critical of both measures.
He said he feared that House Bill 786, which lengthens the period before seasonal workers have to confirm their immigration status via the federal E-Verify system, would create a loophole that industries would abuse. Further, he declared that the executive branch would not act on House Bill 392, the drug testing bill, until lawmakers found the money to pay for its implementation across the state.
While the Governor blustered, House and Senate leaders downplayed the differences of opinion among Republican leaders.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) pointed out that there were only two vetoes and one unsigned law out of hundreds of bills passed this year.
“I think that’s a remarkable achievement for a group of legislators and a sitting governor to have that much consensus on mayor legislation,” he said Wednesday.
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) had made similar comments on Tuesday, touting a “close working relationship” between the Legislature and the Governor’s Office.
“This truly was a phenomenal session of the General Assembly. Too much was accomplished to let it be marred by veto-override controversies,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “The most well-intentioned leaders don’t always agree on the best ways to accomplish things.”
He pointed out that the overrides were not indicative of a party split as a number of Democrats and Republicans voted together to support the immigration bill. Nor did the drug-testing bill, though more partisan, pass precisely along party lines.
The House and Senate are not expected back in Raleigh until May 14, 2014.