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McCrory Vetoes Two Bills: Welfare Drug Testing & Undocumented Immigrant Restrictions

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office
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Governor Pat McCrory vetoed two bills today.

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. It was heavily critiqued by NC's ACLU chapter and others. McCrory said in a statement that he vetoed it due to a loophole that would allow businesses to hire more undocumented workers.

The second bill Gov. McCrory vetoed today (HB 392) would have required drug testing for Work First applicants, a state program that provides financial assistance and job training to needy families.  The ACLU of North Carolina and the N.C. Justice Center had publicly discouraged Gov. McCrory from signing the bill, saying that it would violate the privacy of low-income people.

The Governor signed an executive order, however, that enforces sections of the bill that strengthen criminal background checks for welfare applicants. The executive order is called “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 in a statement.

The bill would have required suspected drug users to pay for the drug testing themselves. Republican Representative Dean Arp of Monroe is the bill’s sponsor.

Laura moved from Chattanooga to Chapel Hill in 2013 to join WUNC as a web producer. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in the spring of 2012 and has created radio and multimedia stories for a variety of outlets, including Marketplace, Prairie Public, and Maine Public Broadcasting. When she's not out hunting stories, you can usually find her playing the fiddle.
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