Updated 07/02/2012 08:50 PM
Legislature overrides Racial Justice veto; changes become law
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RALEIGH -- The N.C. House voted to override changes to the Racial Justice Act, by a vote of 72-48.
Earlier in the day, the Senate also voted to override Perdue's veto.
The House is expected to take up veto overrides of the budget and fracking.
Perdue vetoed changes to the Racial Justice Act, which Democrats said would essentially gut the law. Perdue said that while she was governor, she would make sure the death penalty would be applied fairly and free from racial bias.
Legislative Republicans disagreed, saying the law second-guessed prosecutors.
"This bill ensures that the families of victims – not convicted murderers – will be shielded from the pain that would accompany an evasion of justice that could occur if this bill did not become law," said House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The ACLU of North Carolina released a statement calling the veto override a "sad day for North Carolina.
"By gutting the Racial Justice Act, our legislature has turned its back on the overwhelming evidence of racial bias in our state’s death penalty system," said ACLU-NC Policy Director Sarah Preston. "Politicians have decided they would rather sweep disturbing information under the rug than work to ensure that racial bias plays no role in North Carolina’s death penalty."
Perdue also vetoed the fracking bill, saying it didn't have strong enough protections for the environment and landowners.
Earlier this year, Perdue said she supported studying fracking to see if it would work in North Carolina.
She also vetoed a $20-billion spending plan that would replace federal money for education and give state employees a 1-percent raise.
The House is expected to take up the budget today.
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said in a statement that he disagreed with Perdue's fracking veto, saying, "This legislation sets up a regulatory structure that, while not perfect, is a proactive step and no fracking can occur until further action by the legislature."
Stay with News 14 Carolina and news14.com for more on this developing story.