by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
Last week, the Carolina Journal editors published a commentary on the current budget situation. Though the North Carolina House and the Senate have passed their proposals, the General Assembly still must iron out the differences. Finally, the budget would head to the governor’s desk, where it will likely be vetoed. According to the editors:
None of this is surprising. The Democrat Cooper vetoed the last two budgets he got from the Republican-led General Assembly. But the 2017-18 legislature had enough Republicans to override the vetoes.
However, the Republicans no longer have the super majorities required to override the governor’s veto. While this standoff is not ideal, North Carolina government would not shut down. According to the piece:
If a new budget isn’t in place by July 1, the current tax and spending programs will stay in place until a fresh budget becomes law. With plenty of money flowing into the state treasury to cover spending obligations, state government will stay open.
The editorial mentions the differences between the General Assembly’s and the governor’s budget priorities. Among other things:
Cooper insists on expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act… Cooper also would leave less than $80 million of his $24.5 billion General Fund plan unspent… And the governor wouldn’t cut taxes.
According to the editors:
There’s some room to compromise, but only if Medicaid expansion is off the table. If Cooper won’t relent, then each side seems happy to stand by its goals and let North Carolina voters decide next year.