Lawmakers Schedule Vote to Override Governor’s Budget Veto
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper officially vetoed the state budget proposal on Friday, sending lawmakers back to the negotiation table after weeks of budget talks. Governor Cooper noted in a statement, “I am vetoing this budget because it prioritizes the wrong things. It values corporate tax breaks over classrooms, gimmicks over guaranteed school construction, and political ideology over people.”
The $24 billion budget proposal sent to the Governor for approval on Thursday was seen as a compromise between House and Senate plans, but lacked several items seen as crucial to the Governor, including Medicaid expansion and a school facility bond referendum. The Governor’s proposed $25.2 billion budget would fully expand Medicaid and provide $2 billion from a statewide bond for K-12 school facility needs, among other investments. Lawmakers in the House have scheduled a vote on Monday to attempt to override the Governor’s veto, but it is still unclear whether Republicans will have enough support from Democrats to successfully override the veto.
While Governor Cooper has vetoed the Republican-backed budget every year since entering office, this is the first year in which Republicans have sent forward a budget without holding a supermajority in the House and Senate. This lack of a supermajority means Republicans will need support from Democrats to override the veto, which many view as unlikely, although not impossible. In the case of an unsuccessful veto override vote, Republicans will likely have to reconsider some of the Governor’s priorities, or attempt to sway enough Democrats to vote in favor of a modified proposal.
While the negotiation process could continue for several more weeks, state law allows government spending to continue at the previous year’s amount until a budget can be enacted. While the law provides protection from a government shutdown, it does not provide any additional funding, meaning schools could be left waiting for needed funds, such as those based on new enrollment growth.
The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) is continuing to work with lawmakers, as well as the Governor’s team, to quickly produce the best possible budget for students and educators. Members can access a detailed budget comparison document, prepared by the Department of Public Instruction, by clicking here. We will continue to provide budget updates as needed on our website, weekly newsletter, and Twitter feed: @NCASAtweets.