North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper got some really bad news from the legislature this week.
Cooper, at a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 27, called passing the state budget piecemeal “trickery” and called them “congressional-style piecemeal budget bills.” He said, “They don’t work well in Washington and they won’t work well in North Carolina.”
The bad news is that the North Carolina state House passed the bill for state employee raises 114-0.
Considering how outspoken Cooper was in his rejection of passing the budget piecemeal, that’s a huge slap in the face from his own party.
It would appear that while Cooper managed to hold the Democrats together to keep his veto of the entire state budget from being overridden, the Democrats in the House have had enough and are not willing to commit political suicide by voting against raises for state employees.
If raises for state employees passed on a 114-0 vote, it’s hard to imagine a Democrat voting no when teacher salaries come before the House.
The Republicans may not have won the battle over the state budget, since they have been unable to override Cooper’s veto, but it appears they are winning the war and are in the process of getting the budget passed.
It’s doubtful that the people of North Carolina care whether the budget is passed in one bill with one vote or in 20 bills with 20 votes.
And a vote of 114-0 lets Cooper know that he can veto the piecemeal bills to his hearts content but his veto will be overridden as fast as it gets back to the legislature.
Speaker Pro Tem of the Senate Phil Berger said that Cooper says publicly that there is no Medicaid expansion ultimatum, but behind closed doors, “the governor says we need to settle Medicaid first.”
Cooper in his press conference Tuesday said that he agreed with about 98 percent of the budget passed with bipartisan votes in the House and the Senate, which he vetoed, and it appears Republicans plan to present that 98 percent to Cooper cut up into bite-sized pieces.