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Gov. Cooper Does Not Expect 'Mini-Budget' Peace To Last Much Longer

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Matt Bush
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Blue Ridge Public Radio
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (right) speaks with a teacher at North Buncombe Elementary School in Weaverville Thursday afternoon

So-called ‘mini budget’ bills have been passing out of the North Carolina General Assembly all week.  Those come as the stalemate between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governor Roy Cooper over his veto of their full budget goes into its four month.  The Governor doesn’t expect the relative peace over the mini budget bills - that have passed with wide bipartisan support - to last much longer.

Among the spending measures that made it Governor Cooper’s desk this week include bills funding transportation and rural broadband improvements.  Speaking at North Buncombe Elementary School in Weaverville Thursday afternoon, the governor said those measures are fine, but didn't involve any give and take with the General Assembly.  “The bills they have been passing are things I’ve already agreed to," Cooper said.  "It’s not a very efficient way to do it.  But people are voting for it because there has not been a real controversy.  They have yet to put up a budget that has something in controversy.”

One such unresolved budget issue is the very one the governor was at North Buncombe Elementary to talk about – teacher pay raises.  Cooper says Republican leaders have yet to counter his compromise offer following his veto.  With the General Assembly not expected to take any votes at all next week, it may be a while longer before they do. 

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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