Friday, June 24, 2011

Perdue Vetoes Photo ID for Voters

Governor Perdue vetoed a bill that would have required voters to show a valid photo ID before casting a ballot.

According to the bill, voters would have to produce a valid photo identification such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID. Local boards of elections would provide voter ID cards - free of charge - to voters who do not posses a valid photo ID.

If a voter went to the polls and did not have a valid photo ID, he or she would be able to cast a provisional ballot, which would be counted at a later time when a valid photo ID is provided.

The purpose of the bill is to curtail possible voter fraud and to protect the integrity of the voting process. Backers of the bill argue that it would improve voting confidence and promote fair elections.

Opponents of the bill argue that it would infringe on the right of citizens to vote and would provide an unnecessary obstacle in the voting process. But it is hard to make that argument when you consider the fact that local board of elections would provide voter ID cards - free of charge - to eligible voters

The concept of requiring voters to produce a valid photo ID is popular among voters. Earlier this year, an Elon University Poll found that 75 percent of adults in North Carolina support photo ID requirements for voters.

It is important that we protect the integrity of our voting system. Requiring voters to provide a valid photo ID is a reasonable course of action in protecting the integrity of our elections process. Unfortunately, Governor Perdue had a different take on the situation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

General Assemby Overrides Perdue's Budget Veto

The North Carolina General Assembly has successfully voted to override Governor Perdue's historic budget veto.

Early Wednesday morning, shortly after midnight, the N.C. House voted 73-46 to override Perdue's veto. Five Democrats joined with the entire GOP House delegation in favor of the override. On Wednesday afternoon, the N.C. Senate voted 31-19 along party lines to override Perdue's veto.

Now that the veto override is complete, the $19.7 billion becomes official and will go into affect July 1.

In addition to making necessary cuts to the state's budget, the new budget allows two temporary taxes to expire and adds another tax cut for small businesses. These tax breaks will improve North Carolina's business environment, which will encourage economic growth and job creation.

Many will consider the veto override to be a major political defeat for Governor Perdue and a victory for the GOP. That may be true, but the real winner are the citizens of North Carolina.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Governor Perdue Vetoes GOP Budget

On Sunday, June 12, Governor Perdue vetoed the Republican-led General Assembly's budget plan. This marks the first time in North Carolina history that a governor has vetoed a proposed budget.

Perdue's veto comes as a disappointment to those who were hoping see a more responsible state budget. To their credit, North Carolina Republicans worked hard to create a budget that cuts government spending, allows a temporary sales tax to expire, and does not raise taxes.

The budget that the GOP proposed was a positive step towards stabilizing North Carolina's economic future. It would help to bring down the cost of government while creating a better business environment for the private sector. Unfortunately, Perdue had a different view of the situation and decided to exercise her veto power.

Now that the budget has been vetoed, the General Assembly will attempt an override. Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but are four votes short in the House. Five Democrats in the House voted with Republicans to pass the budget. In order for the veto override to be successful, Republicans will need at least four of those five Democrats to join them.

It is expected that the General Assembly will attempt a veto override in the next day or two.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

N.C. House Gets Ready to Advance $19.6 Billion Budget

The N.C. House is on the verge of sending a final version of the General Assembly's state budget to Governor Perdue.

The budget, which passed the Senate on Thursday before moving to the House, totals somewhere around $19.6 billion. It cuts state spending and allows a temporary sales tax to expire. It also allows an income tax surcharge to expire and exempts the first $50,000 of small business earnings from taxation.

Republican legislators claim that the budget is a responsible effort that will help to balance North Carolina's economic future. Democratic opponents of the bill, including Governor Perdue, claim that the cuts in the budget are too deep.

If the budget goes on to pass the House and ends up on Perdue's desk, it will then become a question of whether or not Perdue uses her veto power. If she vetoes the bill, there is a chance that the General Assembly could override her veto.

Republicans currently have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but they are slightly short of a veto-proof majority in the House.

The House voted in favor of the budget by a vote of 73-44. All Republicans voted in favor of the budget and they were joined by five Democrats. In order to override a possible veto, Republicans would need at least four of those Democrats to join them in the override.

We will now have to wait and see what Perdue does. If she vetoes the bill, it is almost certain that the General Assembly will attempt an override.