The State Employees Association gave awards to three Democratic lawmakers who rebuffed Gov. Bev Perdue and voted to override her budget veto.
Reps. Marcus Brandon, Darren Jackson and Marian McLawhorn received the legislator of the year awards at SEANC's annual convention in Greensboro last weekend for their votes that gave state employees 1.2 percent pay raise and five days of bonus leave time.
Senate GOP leader Phil Berger also received a legislator of the year award for championing the little pay bump and blocking efforts to privatize prison health care.
But the awards to Democrats for breaking their party's ranks are the most intriguing. Labor groups helped elect Perdue, sinking millions into the race. But now with Republican takeover of the legislature, SEANC is shifting loyalties and siding much more publicly with the party it once regarded as the opposition.
“During this legislative session, these lawmakers prioritized people over politics and made a difference in the lives of people who provide the state with vital public services,” said SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope said in a statement.