Raleigh, NC - The process of shale gas exploration, known as fracking, will be legal in North Carolina following the General Assembly's vote to override Governor Bev Perdue's veto of the bill, and it appears the deciding vote to override the veto was a mistake.
Rep. Becky Carney, a Democrat from Mecklenburg, was the deciding vote to legalize fracking, and she says she voted for the bill by mistake.
The vote to override Gov. Perdue's veto occured at approximately 10:00 pm on Monday night, and WRAL reports that after the vote. Rep. Carney was heard saying, "Oh my gosh, I pushed green."
Following the vote, Carney told reporters that she immediately tried to correct her mistake by turning her light on on the House floor.
Carney said House Speaker Thom Tillis would not recognize her, and when she went to try to change her vote, was told House rules state members can only change their vote if it won't impact the outcome of the vote.
Carney said, "I feel rotten and I feel tired. And I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired. And I feel rotten about it. But I take responsibility for my vote."
The General Assembly also voted to override Governor Perdue's veto of the state budget.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted 31-10 on Monday night to override Perdue's veto of budget adjustments for the fiscal year that began Sunday. The House agreed earlier in the evening to override 74-45 with the help of several House Democrats.
The $20.2 billion budget bill now becomes law.
Perdue on Friday vetoed the spending plan for the new fiscal year, saying it didn't do enough for public education.
Several Democrats pleaded with colleagues to back Perdue's veto because public education needs more funding, but GOP lawmakers call it a good proposal given the state's economy and that it will preserve Medicaid funds.
The Legislature overrode Perdue's 2011 budget veto.