News: Quick Takes

UPDATE: Legislature overrides Cooper’s budget veto

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham

UPDATE: The N.C. House voted, 76-43, Wednesday morning to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s state budget veto. Democrats William Brisson and Ken Goodman joined all House Republicans to support the override. Additional details will follow.

A last-minute plea from Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, for new budget negotiations fell on deaf ears.

The Senate voted 34-14 late Tuesday afternoon to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the $23 billion General Fund budget.

Senate Bill 257 was sent to the House for an override vote. The House placed the measure on its Wednesday calendar.

“Imagine the joy, and celebration, and ecstasy that the public would enjoy” if the legislative branch would negotiate with Cooper to pass a compromise budget in near unanimity, Blue said. He urged senators to sustain the veto and meet the governor’s request to negotiate.

In his veto message returning the budget to the General Assembly, Cooper repeated his objections to the budget from a Monday press conference. He said he would sign the bill if tax cuts were limited to the middle class, more money were spent on education, and unspecified constitutional flaws were fixed.

“I guess the governor decided that even though we took care of many of his priorities he felt like this budget didn’t go quite far enough,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow, in introducing the override motion.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, read a letter from the floor that he sent to Cooper defending the bipartisan budget as fulfilling the governor’s desires on the same items he now says didn’t go far enough.

Berger said he was “deeply troubled that you [Cooper] seem to be backing away from the hallmark promises” made to North Carolina residents from the campaign trail and after taking office.

“Your veto is only the latest in a disappointing pattern” of expressing a desire to collaborate only to “continually rewrite your promises,” Berger said. “We will keep our promises for you.”

The budget originally passed 39-11.