Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina lawmakers are a step closer to finding common ground on the state’s spending plan for the new fiscal year.
Cooper and other Democratic leaders presented the Republican leadership with what they said was a compromise budget Tuesday, prompting the budget review committee to schedule a meeting for Wednesday.
“Compromise shouldn’t be a dirty word, and we need to work together to provide for North Carolina’s most pressing needs,” Cooper said in a statement.
The House was scheduled to vote both Monday and Tuesday on an override of Cooper’s veto of the Republican-controlled legislature's spending plan but decided against when they didn't have enough votes. House Republicans need about seven Democrats to vote for an override to be successful.
Earlier Tuesday, Cooper laid out his plan for the $24 billion budget. At the top of his list was Medicaid expansion, erasing corporate tax cuts and prioritizing higher teacher pay.
The budget written by legislative Republicans included an average teacher pay raise of nearly 4 percent while Cooper wanted a 9 percent increase. Cooper's compromise proposal recommends an average of 8.5 percent.
Cooper also wants to restore funding to state agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services, including with Medicaid expansion.
“Making sure our state’s residents have access to quality health care and a strong educational system is vital, and this proposal moves North Carolina in the right direction,” Cooper said.
The budget outlines the state’s spending limits for the 2019-2020 fiscal year that started on July 1. Cooper vetoed the legislative plan on June 28. The state will continuing to operate on the previous year’s budget until a new one is approved.
A reconsideration of the vetoed bill is still on the House calendar for Wednesday afternoon, but the Appropriations Committee will deliberate its next move on in the morning.