by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has fired the latest round in the ongoing N.C. state budget battle.
From Berger’s office:
Cooper’s Big Secret
Governor still hasn’t shared any compromise proposals on anything in the budget
Cooper’s compromise is the biggest secret in town
Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Roy Cooper still has not shared any specific budget compromise proposals with the legislature, despite multiple requests via phone, text message, letter, and face-to-face meetings. The legislature has been asking Governor Cooper for specific compromise offers for weeks, but he has not provided them.
The Governor has said that he generally dislikes some of the possible provisions in the budget, including Opportunity Scholarships and capital funding mechanisms. He also rejected leadership’s offer to hold a special legislative session on healthcare access issues, including Medicaid expansion. But Cooper has not responded to repeated requests for specific counter-offers.
On Friday, June 21, 2019, legislative leaders shared with the Governor a list of their negotiating positions on capital funding, taxes, salaries, total spending, and public education. The Governor took the list of negotiating positions with him, but he has not responded with any counter offers.
Cooper’s compromise is the biggest secret in town. It would be truly remarkable if the Governor tried to cite as the reason for his budget veto an absence of provisions that he has refused to share for weeks.