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NC Republicans are ready to approve a budget, despite no compromise with Gov. Cooper


Updated at 7:05 p.m.

As state lawmakers prepare to move forward with their own budget, Governor Roy Cooper now faces the threat of a veto-override for the first time in nearly three years as negotiations grind to a conclusion.

It has been forty months since a new comprehensive state budget was enacted into law. Republican legislative leaders and the Democratic governor have quietly been trying to reach a compromise since July, but time is about up.

You know, [Gov. Cooper] has been included and we’ve certainly appreciated his input on many of these issues in the budget, but he has not signed off at this point.
House Appropriations Chairman Jason Saine (R-Lincoln)

“You know, he has been included and we’ve certainly appreciated his input on many of this issues in the budget, but he has not signed off at this point,” said Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), House Appropriations Chairman. Saine added the negotiations have become exhausted and with some significant differences remaining, it’s time to forward.

In a statement released on Twitter Wednesday evening, Cooper's office said the governor was informed by Republican leaders that they will "release a budget on Monday that will have a number of the Governor's priorities." According to the statement, GOP leaders also told Cooper that Medicaid expansion will not be included in that budget plan.

Multiple lawmakers say the plan is for that budget to move through both chambers of the NC General Assembly by next Thursday.

A spokesperson for Governor Cooper said that the sides continue to talk and they hope for a compromise.

With the details of a spending plan not complete, it remains unclear if Cooper plans to sign or veto the budget. He could also let the budget become law without his signature, a seldom-used third option.

“If we end up with a veto, I believe the votes are there to override the veto,” added Saine.

Two Democratic lawmakers confirmed that sentiment, saying the governor “runs a high risk of an override” if he vetoes the spending plan.

Since Democrats broke GOP supermajority margins, Cooper has upheld 37 seven consecutive vetoes.

Copyright 2021 North Carolina Public Radio

Jeff Tiberii first started posing questions to strangers after dinner at La Cantina Italiana, in Massachusetts, when he was two-years-old. Jeff grew up in Wayland, Ma., an avid fan of the Boston Celtics, and took summer vacations to Acadia National Park (ME) with his family. He graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and moved to North Carolina in 2006. His experience with NPR member stations WAER (Syracuse), WFDD (Winston-Salem) and now WUNC, dates back 15 years.