Cooper To Veto Budget, Calls for Changes in Taxes and Education Funding
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced he will veto the state budget, as expected. But the Democratic governor said he would sign the budget if Republicans would eliminate the corporate tax cut, include the child care tax credits set out in his budget, and limit their income tax cut to those making less than $150,000 a year.
"This means that the tax cut benefits will go to the individuals and families who truly need help. So I'm willing to compromise on that measure."
Cooper also called for more investment in education. He called for funding teacher pay raises for starting and veteran teachers so the teacher pay "gets on a path to reaching the national average." And he called for a classroom supply stipend. He also said the budget needs to invest in broadband access. And finally, he called for a phase-out of the private school voucher program "that drains money from public education to spend it in private schools with little accountability."
"Those changes could be made and voted on in minutes, but they would have a lasting positive effect for years."
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore quickly released the following statement:
"By rejecting our fourth consecutive teacher pay raise - this time totaling 10 percent on average, a major middle-class tax cut and much-needed Hurricane Matthew relief, Gov. Cooper has broken some of his biggest promises to the voters, and they will hold him accountable. We will too, by quickly overriding his veto."
Republicans have enough votes to override Cooper's veto.
During questions, Cooper also addressed a bill that would redraw the maps for judicial races across the state. HB717 was sponsored by Rep. Justin Burr.
"What I've heard just simply tells me that they're trying to rig the courts because they've lost and they know they're going to lose if they don't. This is an attempt to threaten the judiciary and to rig the judiciary in their favor. I'll look at all the specifics and see what's going on, but from what I hear, it's not good."
That bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 4pm.