Up until now, it’s mostly been talk. Now, Pat McCrory has to act and North Carolinians will soon learn what kind of new governor they have: A rational moderate who, as he often did as Mayor of Charlotte, puts families above campaign contributions and extremist ideology or a far right tool of the state’s business lobby in the ilk of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott.
Yesterday, the General Assembly sent the Governor a bill that devastates North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system and now he has 10 days to decide what to do with it. A loud and compelling chorus has made it eminently clear why he should veto it.
On Wednesday, dozens of nonprofit advocacy groups representing people in need begged the Governor to think twice. In their letter they noted that:
“HB 4 was introduced on January 30, 2013, without any input from groups and organizations that have worked with and represented workers and their interests for years. There has been no opportunity for public input or reasonable discussion of the serious consequences that will result if HB 4 becomes law. Any attempt to amend the bill in committee and on the floors of the House and Senate has been rejected summarily. We ask that as Governor of all of North Carolina that you take the time and use your leadership to try and reach a compromise in this most important matter.”
This morning, Raleigh’s News & Observer editorialized that lawmakers are “throwing away money that could have helped tens of thousands of families. In so doing, they demonstrate their separation from the reality many hard-working North Carolinians face.”
Also this morning, Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP distributed an open letter in which plead: “On behalf of all minorities and other jobless people in NC, we urge you to veto this cold-hearted approach to the challenge of creating more jobs for our people.”
In short, the Governor cannot be under any misimpression as to where people stand on this destructive measure. His decision in the coming days of whether to sign or veto this disastrous bill will tell us much about what the next four years hold for the nine-million people of this state.