By Jeff Moore
RALEIGH — The North Carolina House overrode two more vetoes issued by Gov. Roy Cooper as the Republican legislative supermajority continues to negate the governor’s veto powers. Should the North Carolina Senate join the House is overriding vetoes of House Bill 140 and House Bill 770, it would bring the total number of laws enacted “notwithstanding the objections of the governor” to seven.
H.B. 140 would allow for credit property insurance to be sold for an expanded list of products, such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Such policies cover damage or loss of property that is used to secure a loan. With coverage of ATVs that are purchased on credit, for instance, the premiums are rolled into the original loan and pay out to the creditor.
However, H.B. 770 has more political flavor as it contains a provision allowing a current state employee to collect payment from two state-funded positions.
Bill Peaslee, chief deputy commissioner of the N.C. Industrial Commission, also receives a paycheck from intermittent work as a member of the N.C. Property Tax Commission. Peaslee reportedly uses vacation days from the former, while attending paid sessions for the latter. Although “double-dipping” has been forbidden in state law since 1979, Peaslee argues that the law does not apply to the pay given to members of the Property Tax Commission, only to daily travel and food expenses.
Peaslee previously used to work as general counsel to the North Carolina Republican Party.
The issue was never raised during the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, but under Cooper’s administration the N.C. Department of Revenue found interest in Peaslee’s dual pay and notified the N.C. Department of Justice.
“Up until this point it really hasn’t been an issue, but under this new administration it appears to be,” said Peaslee in an interview. “I work hard, trying to make sure I get my time in at the Industrial Commission and use my vacation time to work on the Property Tax Commission. I’ll let people come to their own conclusions as to why this is happening now.”
Both bills now must earn supermajority approval in the Senate to fully override Cooper’s veto and become law.