Late Saturday night, Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a bill that would have extended benefits to the long-term unemployed that Republicans had tied to budget negotiations.
The e-mail announcing the governor's veto was sent out after midnight. Perdue's staff had announced Saturday morning that she would veto the bill, but the veto was delayed by the day's severe weather and deadlly tornadoes.
In her veto message to the legislature, Perdue wrote: "House Bill 383 irresponsibly took the financial lifelines for 37,000 North Carolina citizens and families and hitched them to a budget ploy that will wreck the lives of millions more.
"The General Assembly's leadership needs to quickly send me a bill that will aid our fellow North Carolinians, free of these antics, and I will sign it."
The unemployment benefits can be extended and paid retroactively at any time the legislature and the governor agree on a bill.
The Republican-authored bill that Perdue vetoed would have forced a 13 percent cut in her suggested budget if there is no spending agreement by the end of June.
On Saturday, Robin Hayes, the state Republican Party chairman criticized Perdue for her impending veto, saying "It is a shame that Gov. Perdue would cut off the jobless benefits to 37,000 families to avoid cutting one cent from her big spending, big government budget proposal."
Senate Republicans have enough votes to override the governor's vetoes but House Repbulicans do not have a veto-proof majority.
Perdue is spending today traveling around the state to assess damage.