House Bill 2167 vetoed by Governor Easley

I saw a veto message on House Bill 2167 from Governor Easley when nine signed bills were dropped off at my office this evening.  The veto message, dated August 17, 2008, was on its way to be delivered to the office of the House Principal Clerk:


Towing of Recreational Boats/Exemption


According to Under the Dome, the veto message read:

“House Bill 2167, allows extremely large boats as wide as 9-1/2 feet to be towed on any state road at anytime, including night time, any day of the week, without a permit as required by all other states from Texas to Virginia.  This bill would also allow a blood alcohol level of .08, double that allowed by commercial vehicles of smaller size.

I sincerely believe that this bill puts families at a risk on the highways and would result in death or serious injury.  North Carolina has 60,000 miles of narrow two lane roads that cannot accommodate the 9-1/2 foot width and maintains roughly 1,000 bridges 18-feet wide or less, which would require a 9-1/2 foot boat to cross the center line in violation of N.C.G.S. 20-146, and into oncoming traffic.  Further, if two 9-1/2 foot boats were to meet on an 18-foot strip of road or bridge it would be physically impossible to escape a collision.

I am deeply concerned about 9-1/2 foot boats meeting a school bus.  The buses travel primarily on rural roads and often in the dark during early morning and early evening hours.

I encourage the General Assembly to let boat haulers use the current law of permitting for the rest of this season and then have the legislature take up this issue in January when there is time to thoughtfully avoid the consequences of this bill.

Therefore, I veto the bill. ”

We should have scanned copy of the veto message up Monday


 Other vetoes since 1997 are listed here.

Under Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution, if a bill is vetoed, the Governor must reconvene the session to consider an override, unless a majority of the members of each house sign a statement that a reconvened session is not necessary.  The session can be held at any time after the veto, but it must convene not later than Wednesday, August 27, 2008, the 40th day after adjournment.

Here are the applicable constitutional provisions:

 Article II, Section 22(7) of the North Carolina Constitution states in pertinent part that if the Governor vetoes a bill after adjournment:

“When the General Assembly has adjourned sine die … Governor shall reconvene that session … for reconsideration of the bill, and if the Governor does not reconvene the session, the bill shall become law on the fortieth day after such adjournment. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, if the Governor prior to reconvening the session receives written requests dated no earlier than 30 days after such adjournment, signed by a majority of the members of each house that a reconvened session to reconsider vetoed legislation is unnecessary, the Governor shall not reconvene the session for that purpose and any legislation vetoed in accordance with this section after adjournment shall not become law.”

Article III, Section 5(11) of the North Carolina Constitution states in pertinent part:

(11)      Reconvened sessions … At such reconvened session, the General Assembly may only consider such bills as were returned by the Governor to that reconvened session for reconsideration.  Such reconvened session shall begin on a date set by the Governor, but no later than 40 days after the General Assembly adjourned… sine die”


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