By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Gov. Bev Perdue has used her veto for the first time on legislation approved by the new Republican majority at the Legislature.
The Democratic incumbent on Tuesday officially vetoed a budget-savings bill that tries to collect about $540 million in savings from the current year budget and reserves.
Perdue has said for weeks she doesn't like the bill because it would take money from a pair of economic incentive programs her office uses to recruit companies. More money heading for the Golden LEAF Foundation would be diverted.
The bill now returns to the Legislature, where an override appears difficult. Three-fifths of the members voting on an override in the House and Senate would have to agree in order for the vetoed measure to become law anyway.
“This bill started out as a way to help North Carolina secure $400 million in additional savings from state government agencies during this difficult budget time,” said Gov. Perdue. “I suggested that bill to the General Assembly and was ready to sign that legislation. But the bill in its current form forces a one-time cash-grab from funds that are intended to create jobs and spur economic development. That’s not the right move for North Carolina, where jobs simply must be our No. 1 priority.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)