Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory vetoed legislation (HB 392) but signed an executive order to implement the priority of the legislation’s criminal history verification and information sharing requirements for welfare benefit applicants. The executive order is entitled “Strengthening Fugitive Apprehension and Protecting Public Benefits.”
“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. “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.
The Governor also considers the bill fiscally irresponsible. “This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” Governor McCrory continued. “Similar efforts in other states have proved to be expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina.”
Drug testing of welfare programs in Utah, Arizona and other states proved to be expensive and ineffective at catching drug abusers.
Read Executive Order 21 here.