North Carolina legislators and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper are trying to bring renewed energy toward resolving a three-month budget stalemate to their respective likings.
Senate Leader Phil Berger says he wants to reach a budget compromise with legislative Democrats.
The Rockingham County Republican told reporters Tuesday morning he is pursuing a veto-override of the Governor’s budget veto. However, “What I’d actually prefer though is a negotiated compromise with Senate Democrats,” he added. “We can easily reach consensus on the issues and controversy and pass a supplement to the vetoed budget. I’d rather have a broad bi-partisan vote, just like what you saw on redistricting, than a veto-override that squeaks through.”
Berger said his chamber will adjourn for the year by Oct. 31, with or without an enacted budget. He said he'd prefer working out a compromise with Senate Democrats to end the impasse.
Cooper vetoed the state budget in June. House GOP members overrode his veto last month during an unexpected vote, but the override motion now sits in the Senate. Cooper said earlier Tuesday he believes all 21 Senate Democrats would uphold his veto.
Cooper vetoed the budget largely because it lacked Medicaid expansion. Democratic legislators spent Tuesday holding a hearing to try to build momentum for expansion.
Berger remains opposed to expanding the federal program for people living in poverty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.