Friday, April 15, 2011

N.C. Senate Overrides Gov. Perdue's Veto on Health Insurance

The North Carolina Senate overrode Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto on changes to the state employees’ health insurance. The News and Observer reports:

The legislature passed the changes to the state employees health insurance plan, largely along party lines, aimed at closing a projected $515 million shortfall. The plan covers 663,000 government employees and their dependents, including 160,000 retired workers.

The plan would have required employees to pay premiums for the first time and instituted higher co-pays and deductibles.

And why did Perdue veto this bill?

In her veto message to legislators, Perdue said the bill would essentially cut teachers' pay when they haven't had raises in three years. Other than a minute in front of a committee, retired workers and teachers' groups did not have a chance to weigh in on the bill, she wrote.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, said Perdue vetoed the bill because a lobbyist complained.

"She vetoed it because a lobbyist said 'we didn't get a chance to say something,' Apodaca said. "In this General Assembly, you represent the people of North Carolina, not the lobbyists of North Carolina."

Unless you’re a Democrat, then you’re an advocate of every damn lobbyist with a dollar bill. Just look at former Speaker Jim Black.

The House doesn’t have the numbers to override the veto. A compromise will have to be made. The proposed bill required state employees to pay $11 to $22 a month. They currently pay nothing unless they have dependents.

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