by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Welcome to the 2018 midterms. As Carolina Journal reports, Gov. Roy Cooper used a press conference Wednesday to criticize legislative leaders and the operating budget they passed and sent to his desk — which he has vetoed.
“It’s important to make this statement. It’s important to do the right thing,” Cooper said Wednesday, June 6, when asked why he would veto a budget knowing Republicans would override him. The thousands of teachers who rallied at the legislative building May 16 would want him to veto the budget, he said.
GOP leaders swiftly vowed to override the veto with their supermajorities in the House and Senate.
“The people of North Carolina deserve better, and they will get it when we override his veto,” Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a joint statement.
Cooper dismissed a study by the nonpartisan legislative Fiscal Research Division released just before his veto announcement that determined his $24.5 billion budget proposal had a $469,303,681 hole.
“It does not have a deficit,” he insisted, even after being offered a view of the study. “It’s a balanced budget.” He tried to turn the tables, claiming, without documentation, Republicans passed a deficit-ridden budget. The shortfalls will be evident in coming years, he said, due to tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
Read the complete Carolina Journal story on Gov. Cooper’s budget veto here.
As background on the governor’s own proposal, here is a separate analysis of Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget proposal by Joe Coletti of the John Locke Foundation.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19  would spend $1.5 billion more than the current year, raise taxes, divert millions in other funds, increase dependence on potentially unreliable federal sources, take on billions in new debt, and leave a $730+ million hole in the budget each of the next two years with no anticipated reserves to help. The only thing that saves it from being a completely irresponsible document is the fact that it is all but completely irrelevant.
Based on reasonable estimates of inflation and other factors, the budget would leave a $460 million hole each year for the next biennium.