NCGA overrides Gov. Cooper’s veto of $23B budget

Tim Moore, Phil Berger
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017 file photo, Republican leaders Rep. Tim Moore, left, and Sen. Phil Berger, hold a news conference in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Republican lawmakers said Wednesday night that they have an agreement with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill." Details about the replacement weren't immediately available, Moore and Berger declined to take questions during a brief news conference. (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP, File)


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Republican-controlled General Assembly has made good on its promise to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the two-year state budget. The House completed the override with a vote of 76-43 Wednesday. The Senate did its part Tuesday.

Now the two-year spending plan becomes state law and largely takes effect when the new fiscal year begins this weekend.

Cooper announced his veto earlier this week, saying Republicans drew up a short-sighted plan with excessive tax cuts that will make it harder in future years to pay for things like teacher pay. But GOP leaders say it contained many initiatives that Cooper had previously sought and had promised the override.

House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore said in a statement to the press that, “The governor chose partisanship over the people of North Carolina when he rejected middle class tax cuts and a fourth consecutive teacher pay raise, but the General Assembly has delivered these priorities to North Carolinians without his support.”

The override means all five of Cooper’s vetoes since taking office in January have been overturned. Cooper’s veto marked the second time a state budget had been vetoed — the other one occurred in 2011.

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin released a statement regarding the General Assembly’s override vote:

General Assembly Republicans have shown yet again that they care more about corporations and the wealthy than our middle and working class families. Meager pay raises for teachers, tax giveaways that benefit the richest among us, budget cuts to our institutions trying to clean our waterways, and cynical and petty attacks on our Democratic Governor and Attorney General – these are priorities for the General Assembly, not lifting up rural North Carolina or helping teachers pay out of pocket expenses. At a time when we need to invest in our state, this budget does the opposite, and hardworking families will be the ones hurt most by it.”

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Cooper also released a statement Wednesday afternoon expressing his disappointment in Republican legislators:

Republican legislators have doubled down on the wrong priorities for our state. I said I would sign a budget if legislators would target the income tax breaks to middle class families and invest the savings on education and job creation. Unfortunately, legislative Republicans refuse to compromise and have passed a budget that leaves middle class families behind. We must do better for our students and working families.”

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