RALEIGH - Governor Pat McCrory issues the first two vetoes of his administration Thursday, one involved drug testing for benefit applicants and other involves rules for hiring immigrants.
“While I support the efforts to ensure that fugitive felons are not on public assistance rolls, and to share information about them with law enforcement, other parts of this bill are unfair, fiscally irresponsible and have potential operational problems,” Governor McCrory said in a press statement. "Drug testing Work First applicants as directed in this bill could lead to inconsistent application across the state’s 100 counties. That’s a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion.”
However, the Governor believes that the bill’s requirement for verifying an applicant’s criminal history and sharing information about welfare applicants is a common-sense safeguard to keep fugitive felons and other lawbreakers off public assistance rolls and in the hands of law enforcement. Therefore, Governor McCrory is using his executive authority to strengthen criminal verification for applicants. Furthermore, the governor directed state agencies to develop a plan and recommend the best way to exchange information about fugitive felons.
McCrory also vetoed legislation that he says would makes it easier for businesses to circumvent federal immigration law, which could allow more illegal immigrants to be hired in North Carolina industries.
Under current law, seasonal workers are given an exemption from E-Verify screening. E-Verify is designed to determine an employee’s or applicant’s legal status. The legislation sent to Governor McCrory expanded the definition of a seasonal worker from 90 days to nearly nine months.
Governor McCrory said increasing the 90-day exemption would also open the “seasonal” exemption to many industries other than agriculture.
Governor McCrory recommended the entire bill be studied including the definition of a seasonal worker. No funds were provided to conduct the study – a fiscally irresponsible approach.