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Gov. Cooper Vetoes Republicans' State Budget


Updated 2:42 p.m.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed the state budget approved Thursday by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Cooper called the budget "an astonishing failure of common sense and common decency."

"Overall this budget is bad," Cooper said. "It prioritizes the wrong things. It values corporate tax breaks over classrooms, gimmicks over guaranteed school construction and political ideology over people." 

Cooper said the veto will allow more time to reach a compromise with Republican House and Senate leaders on issues such as Medicaid expansion and school spending.

"I stand ready to negotiate a true compromise," Cooper said. "And to do that, everything — Republican priorities and Democratic priorities — must be on the table."

Cooper spoke Friday morning, then formally vetoed the budget Friday afternoon after receiving the budget.

House speaker Tim Moore criticized Cooper, saying in a statement: "Blocking billions of dollars in funding for North Carolina communities less than a day after receiving the budget is a reckless and irresponsible decision by the Governor that must be overridden to deliver critical investments in infrastructure, disaster relief, public safety, pay raises, and school construction, to our state’s citizens."  

Republicans no longer hold veto-proof majorities in the legislature, and would need some Democrats to join them in an override. But Democratic leaders with Cooper Friday morning said Democrats are unified in opposing the budget.   

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.