The GOP-controlled N.C. Senate followed the House’s lead on Wednesday by completing an override of two vetoes issued by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory after he had publicly called on the legislature to sustain his rejection of the measures.
With little discussion, the Senate voted 34-10 to reverse McCrory’s veto of House Bill 392, which will require drug testing for welfare recipients participating in the N.C. Work First program. No Senate Republicans voted to sustain the veto. The House voted 77-39 on Tuesday to override the governor’s veto of that proposal.
In the wake of the override vote, McCrory issued a statement saying that “the executive branch will not take any action on the new law’s implementation until sufficient funds with this unfunded mandate are provided, not only for the Department of Health and Human Services, but also the funding for consistent application across all 100 counties.”
The Senate also turned back the governor’s veto of House Bill 786 on a vote of 39-5, again with little discussion and with just five Republicans voting to sustain McCrory’s rejection. The day earlier, the House voted 84-32 to pass the bill not withstanding McCrory’s objection to the measure, which he had said could allow businesses to circumvent federal immigration laws in hiring.
“House Bill 786 triples the E-Verify seasonal worker exemption from 90 days to nearly nine months and has created a loophole that could cost legal North Carolinians jobs,” McCrory said in response to the legislature overriding his veto of the measure on Wednesday. “Thus, I will direct the executive branch to explore all legal and executive authority to ensure the letter and spirit of our nation’s immigration law is followed in this state.”
The two vetoes issued by McCrory in 2013 are far fewer than the 16 issued by his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Bev Perdue, in 2011 when she faced a Republican-controlled General Assembly.
With the special veto override session complete, the legislature adjourned until May 2014.