Late last night (and into this morning), state lawmakers were able to complete a hat trick of veto overrides. Following the successful override of Perdue’s veto of a bill limiting the Racial Justice Act, the legislature was able to override the state budget and hydraulic fracturing vetoes.
As the N&O reports, however, the override vote regarding fracking included a little controversy:
But at least one of the successful override votes – on the natural gas exploration, or fracking, bill – was the result of an error by a Democratic lawmaker who pushed the wrong button, and a GOP maneuver prevented her from changing it and gave them a one-vote margin of victory.Rep. Becky Carney, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, pushed the wrong button and a GOP maneuver by Wake County Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam prevented her from changing it, giving the GOP a one-vote margin of victory.
‘It was a huge mistake,” Carney said afterward. “I take full responsibility.”
Perhaps overlooked in the frenzy is the deal-making involved in getting these override votes lined up. According to (subscription-only) news source The Insider:
A final budget technical corrections bill included a few sweeteners that may have been critical to obtaining the necessary Democratic votes to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the budget bill and hydraulic fracturing legislation. A key provision gave state employees an additional five days of annual leave. Prior to voting for the budget override, Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, had noted how many state employees lived in his district. He wasn’t alone among those Democrats voting for the budget. The district of Rep. Marion McLawhorn, D-Pitt, is also home to East Carolina University faculty and other workers. “We’re glad to see the legislature did something in the last hours to boost morale,” said Artis Watkins of the State Employees Association of N.C. “People would rather have had their paychecks changed more, but that wasn’t going to happen.” Another provision shifted $2 million to the Rural Center and $1 million to regional economic development commission. Those changes were seen as critical to keep the support of Reps. Jim Crawford, D-Granville; Bill Brisson, D-Bladen; and Dewey Hill, D-Columbus.
Also included was a deal to extend tax credits to movie makers, reportedly intended to appease Reps. Danny McComas and Susi Hamilton from the New Hanover area – a part of the state that benefits greatly from the tax credits.