Senate leaders urge House to override veto

07/01/2014 2:58 PM

07/01/2014 2:59 PM

The co-chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday urged the House to stand firm and override the governor’s veto of an unemployment bill last week.

Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Matthews, and Sen. Bill Rabon, a Republican from Southport, wrote a letter to House Speaker Thom Tillis that was delivered Tuesday afternoon urging an override.

There are too many good provisions in the bill to lose it over Gov. Pat McCrory’s objection to the part about the length of terms on the three-member Board of Review, which handles unemployment claim appeals, the letter says.

"We will stand with you and your courageous colleagues to prevent disastrous fiscal consequences for the people of North Carolina," their letter says.

Without House Bill 1069, they say, federal employer tax could increase from $126 to $420 for each employee, amounting to a tax of more than $1 billion a year on businesses.

The bill also addresses legal uncertainty over decisions the board has made on unemployment claims because the governor took so long to appoint the members, they say. Further, the appointments were not made in accordance with the law, they write.

Without the bill, North Carolina could be out of compliance over the potential disclosure of confidential information, endangering about $57 million in federal grants, they write.

"Together, we must look beyond the politics of Governor McCrory’s veto and protect our state’s businesses and taxpayers from a return to the days of expensive dysfunction within our state’s unemployment insurance program," Rucho and Rabon write.

In response to the veto, a House committee approved a bill that attempts to address the governor’s objections over the board members’ terms.

The original bill, passed by lawmakers over McCrory’s objections, would have shortened the terms of existing members of the Board of Review appointed by McCrory in December. The terms of one of the board members, who are paid $120,000 a year, would have expired Monday under the bill.

McCrory said he agreed with the rest of the bill.

Last year the General Assembly overrode two of McCrory’s vetoes.

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