Richard Craver of the Winston-Salem Journal reported a story on the current budget impasse earlier this week. His piece focused on the stalemate between the governor and the legislature. Craver writes:

Both sides have tried to put the onus on the other for the impasse that’s delaying, among several things, raises for state employees and public teachers, and $218 million in necessary start-up funding for the state Medicaid transformation initiative set to begin Nov. 1 in the Triad.

Craver writes many Republican General Assembly members blame the governor’s push for Medicaid expansion:

“The governor will not sign any budget unless Medicaid expansion is first passed into law, so it’s difficult to take him seriously when he says he wants to negotiate the budget,” Berger said July 30.

Craver writes the governor blames Republican legislators for stalling on the veto override vote:

Meanwhile, Cooper and Democratic legislative leaders stress that if House GOP leadership had the votes to override the veto, they would have done so by now.

They say that by stalling on taking a veto-override vote and not beginning earnest budget negotiations with Medicaid expansion included, GOP House leaders are the ones responsible for the delay in pay raises.

JLF’s Mitch Kokai weighed in on the stalemate, explaining – unless something changes – he does not see negotiations going anywhere. Craver writes:

Mitch Kokai, senior policy analyst for Libertarian think tank John Locke Foundation, said the Republican-controlled legislature likely has public support considering it has approved a state budget with teacher pay raises and special funding for projects in the communities of key Democratic legislators in eastern N.C.

“Until one of these groups feels political heat, I don’t see either side backing down from its position,” Kokai said.

Read the full story here. Listen to Mitch Kokai’s comments on the budget impasse on UNC-TV’s “Front Row with Marc Rotterman” here.