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Veto message: Wait for federal legislation

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(The Center Square) – Using Central Bank digital currency, or tests by the Federal Reserve Branch, is favored by North Carolina’s governor.

The General Assembly, overwhelmingly, disagrees. Legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on the currency regulation is yet to move in the Senate, though waiting for it or another bill is preferred by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Still, the decision late Friday of the holiday weekend by the governor was to issue a veto for No Centrl [sic] Bank Digital Currency Pmts to State. The legislation passed the Senate 39-5 and the House 109-4.

As he did a month ago, Cooper seized on the opportunity of a veto message to chide the Republican majorities on fiscal matters.

In his message to lawmakers, the second-term Democrat wrote that the bill is “premature, vague and reactionary” that respond to decisions that “haven’t even been made yet.”

“Instead of this bill, the Legislature should have passed a budget to provide more funding for cybersecurity threats that actually exist now,” he added.

On May 22, the U.S. House passed changes for regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in a bill colloquially known as FIT21. The legislation is opposed by the White House. The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, approved 279-136, had support of 71 Democrats.

There’s been no action for it yet in the Senate.

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., was the floor leader in final debate on the bill.

North Carolina’s House Bill 690 follows up on language in General Statute 147-86.11(a) that directs the state’s controller, treasurer, budget officer and auditor to “develop, implement and amend as necessary a uniform statewide plan to carry out the cash management policy” for all state agencies.

The proposal has a new section, General Statute 147-86.19, saying “central bank digital currency payments prohibited.”

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In 2022, the Biden administration authorized further research into digital currencies by executive order.

Against in the Senate were Democrats Val Applewhite of Cumberland County, Dan Blue of Wake County, Michael Garrett and Gladys Robinson of Guilford County, and DeAndrea Salvador of Mecklenburg County. Against in the House were Democrats John Autry and Mark Belk of Mecklenburg County, Sarah Crawford of Wake County, and Pricey Harrison of Guilford County.

Cooper also redirected lawmakers toward fiscal matters on June 14. He said the juvenile justice system should get more money appropriated when he vetoed legislation modifying the definition of delinquent juvenile and the process for transferring cases for trial as adults.

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