VETO: ‘Governor Vandalism’ MAY have a point on Peaslee pay

Our Guv-til’ – 2020 handed down yet another veto Monday.  This time it was on “clarifying changes” in HB 770.  Here’s Ol’ Roy’s take:

[…] This special pay benefit for one employee getting two state salaries is unnecessary and unfair to other state employees. In addition, the legislature taking two appointments to the state’s Medical Board is an intrusion on executive authority and not needed.[…]

What’s Governor “V” talking about?  Here’s one of the drivebys at WRAL to explain:

A one-sentence change tacked into broader legislation earlier this month helps a single state employee, tweaking state law so he can again get paid to serve on a state commission while on vacation from his full-time state job.

Bill Peaslee is a chief deputy commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. He’s also on the state Property Tax Commission and has been for about six years.

Hmmm. TWO THINGS you could abolish and NOBODY would miss.  MORE:

[…] Under Gov. Pat McCrory, Peaslee drew his regular state salary and was also paid the daily wage tax commission members get to sit for several days each month hearing appeals from around the state. When Gov. Roy Cooper took office, a new regime at the state Department of Revenue looked at state laws against employees double-dipping on salary and questioned whether Peaslee should draw both paychecks.

Peaslee, a former general counsel for the North Carolina Republican Party, brought the issue before Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other state legislators. He’d been taking vacation time from his $115,494-a-year job at the Industrial Commission to make $450 to $500 a day at the tax commission. His tax commission pay last year totaled $24,500.

I am crying soooooooo many tears for an unelected someone pulling down six figures courtesy of the taxpayers.  MORE:

[…] Peaslee said he was paid for some meetings this year but served for free the last two months.

General Assembly leadership tacked their response into legislation that dealt with more than half a dozen unrelated sections of state code. Their change makes it clear: Any state employee who’s also a member of the Property Tax Commission should be paid by the tax commission, too. There are five members on that commission, but Peaslee is the only state employee, and the legislation is meant to compensate him for meetings he’s already attended as well as the ones going forward.

“Why would a state employee be treated any differently?” Peaslee asked Friday. “What I do on my vacation time is up to me.”

Legislation benefiting ONE PERSON — who happens to be TIGHT with the folks voting on said legislation — almost always stinks to high heaven.

Who says you’re entitled to serve two state appointments simultaneously — and get PAID by the taxpayers for both?

MORE:

[…] The new bill language passed the same day it became public: Aug. 3, during a one-day special session. It was part of House Bill 770, which started life as legislation on underground storage tank remediation but had morphed into a grab-bag titled “Various Clarifying Changes” when it emerged from a conference committee of House and Senate negotiators appointed to work out bill details.

That group had little to no say over the language, though, according to state Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, a member of the conference committee. The full bill came from House and Senate leadership, he said.

“Technically I signed the report, but there was no conference I was involved in,” said McGrady.

Berger’s office said the change is a fair one.

“This state employee had been taking vacation days from his job in order to attend those meetings on his own time and had previously been compensated – like every other member of the commission,” spokeswoman Amy Auth said in an email. “There was a new interpretation of the law this spring, so the legislature took steps to clear up the ambiguity. Sen. Berger and many of his colleagues do not believe any current or future members of this commission should be discriminated against and shortchanged for their work simply because they are a state employee.”

The state law against employees drawing two paychecks has been on the books since 1979, and it’s got a carve out for General Assembly members who are paid to attend commission meetings outside of the legislative session. Some confusion crept in when the legislature separated the Property Tax Commission from other state commissions, increasing the pay there and eventually allowing the commission to set its own pay.

New laws approving these increases didn’t say anything about not paying state employees. When Cooper’s Department of Revenue put the issue before the Attorney General’s Office earlier this year, the office issued a six-page letter. Since the old law says state employees shouldn’t draw per diem salaries for commission work and the laws increasing tax commission pay are silent on the issue, the two join together to “establish a clear public policy against the payment,” the Attorney General’s Office said.

[…]

Can you tell me — with a straight face — that (1) both of these state bodies are vitally important, and (2) Bill Peaslee’s insight and involvement is soooooo important that he ahs to serve on both at the same time (with pay)? 

I don’t think so.

5 comments for “VETO: ‘Governor Vandalism’ MAY have a point on Peaslee pay

  1. Toxhandler
    August 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I had the displeasure of having to work with this character many years ago when he was Chairman of the old 13th Congressional district. I see he hasn’t changed much. As for “conservative” Phil Berger, it figures that he’d bend over backwards to help another one of the entitlement leeches who’ve used the NCGOP as their access portal to taxpayer dollars. An acquaintance of mine got a fund raising letter from him the other day, saying he had to raise megabucks to preserve the Senate’s majority. Notice that he didn’t say “super-majority”. Word on the street has it that the Redistricting committee has caved to the Dems and are going to risk the super-majority in an attempt to stay out of court. It’s a shame that Berger turned out to be as bad as the rest of our elected sell-outs.

  2. David Collins
    August 17, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I would assume that like all other State employees, Bill Peaslee’s “vacation time” from his full-time State employment is PAID vacation time.

  3. GUWonder
    August 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

    As a point of clarification, Bill Peaslee was never the NCGOP’s elected General Counsel. He was hired by Bill Cobey in a paid headquarters staff job of ”Staff Counsel” in which he was the power behind the throne. The ED of the time, Debbie Beatty, was a figurehead. It was Peaslee who crafted Cobey’s top down approach to running the party, which has persisted ever since.

  4. Doug
    August 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Why shouldn’t they just make the duties of the part time commission part of the guy’s regular job? That way they would not have to hire two people for these tasks. I agree the guy should not have to use his vacation time, so he should probably just quit the part time gig. Plus that would probably work better if an embedded bureaucrat who is beholden to the state is not on the tax commission, I would think that would be a conflict of interest more than getting the pay.

  5. Money4nothingChix4free
    August 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    This was Jim Blaine helping Fetzer who continues to pay off his longstanding indebtedness to Peaslee. #hushmoney

Comments are closed.