Gov. Pat McCrory issued the first veto of his administration Thursday, rejecting legislation that would have required people applying for welfare benefits to pass a drug test.
Well now, that’s interesting. Even if you agree with the general sentiment of denying the social safety net to addicts, this kind of screening process is known to be incredibly expensive to run, and this move gives a lot of credence to McCrory’s “fiscally responsible” messaging. A similar program in Florida cost the state more in test expenses (handed out to buddies in the drug testing industry who lobbied for the program) than was saved in denied claims.
One (HB 786) known as the “Reclaiming NC Act” would have required undocumented immigrants to submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting to obtain driving permits. It also would have allowed police to detain people they suspect of being undocumented for up to 24 hours.
His rationale for rejection of HB786 is that it attempted to pre-empt federal immigration enforcement laws, allowing employers to avoid parts of E-Verify. So he’s vetoed an anti-immigration bill… ostensibly because it would have made it too easy to hire illegal immigrants. Weird. It’s not clear to me whether this is just to save face with the GOP or whether such concerns are legit.
Interestingly, both of these bills would have certainly been challenged in court, and indeed there are relevant pending court cases against similar legislation in other states already. The 24 hour detention thing on the immigration bill was almost certainly unconstitutional.