North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday, Nov. 16, that he would sign the budget expected to be passed by the General Assembly and sent to his desk on Thursday, Nov. 18.
The state Senate passed the $25.9 million budget by a 40-to-8 vote on Tuesday.
But just because Cooper said he will sign the budget which will be a first for Cooper who has been in office since 2017, doesn’t mean he likes it.
The budget does not include Medicaid expansion, which is the main issue that has kept Cooper from signing previous budgets.
But also the budget includes some items that have nothing to do with revenue or spending that Cooper has opposed.
One is a policy limiting the governor’s emergency authority that would become effective Jan. 1, 2023. The revision is a response to Cooper’s emergency orders since March 2020 due to the pandemic. After Jan. 1, 2023, such emergency orders from the governor would require approval from the majority of the Council of State after a period of time. The Council of State is made up of the 10 state government officials in the executive branch elected statewide: the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor, commissioner of insurance, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of labor, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction.
When Cooper started issuing emergency orders in 2020, it was thought that he was required to have a consensus of the majority of the Council of State to make those orders. However, when Cooper failed to gain that consensus, another method for the governor to make such emergency orders was found.
This policy included in the budget is an attempt to close that loophole.
This budget also includes a ban on collusive legal settlements and is the result of a lawsuit in 2020 that altered how the 2020 election would be held without the approval of the state legislature.
Cooper earlier vetoed a bill that would have done the same thing, which is a good indication that he is not in favor of this portion of the budget.
Cooper, in speaking about the budget, said that he thought the political aspects of the budget would be overturned by the courts.