Friday, 18 August, 2017

NC Gov. Cooper to veto $23B state budget, NCGA will override

The federal government is finalizing new restrictions on hundreds of medicines containing hydrocodone The federal government is finalizing new restrictions on hundreds of medicines containing hydrocodone
Edmund Collier | 28 June, 2017, 03:05

Don't expect any compromise reached between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators that alters some major provisions in the state budget now that Cooper says he'll veto it.

In a press conference flanked by North Carolina teachers, Cooper acknowledged the GOP super-majority in the N.C. House and Senate have the votes to override this veto as well.

Cooper made the announcement Monday, four days after the GOP-controlled legislature gave final approval to its two-year spending plan.

"From an economic development and tax standpoint, it heavily favors middle-class and low-income families, so to come out with such as preposterous number is just fantasy", said Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) responding to Cooper's comments that the budget awards a millionaire a tax cut "85 times larger" than a middle-class family. The other time happened in 2011, when Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto was overridden by Republicans. The General Assembly could hold votes to override the veto as soon as they receive the rejected document from the governor.

Monday's veto, which came almost a week before Cooper's constitutional deadline to act, could set the stage for the General Assembly to adjourn its annual work session by this weekend. They say Cooper will be held accountable for failing to accept a budget that includes many ideas he promoted.

The Republican budget, should it become law, would reduce in 2019 the individual income tax rate from 5.499 percent to 5.25 percent and the corporate income tax from 3 percent to 2.5 percent. "What we need to get our leaders across the state and across our country to see is that investment in health care is a critical component of this", Cooper said.

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The veto marks Cooper's fifth veto since taking office in January. Cooper sought at least 10 percent. His office and fellow Democrats also have complained that the most veteran teachers would get only a $300 raise and $385 annual bonuses.

Cooper's veto message also sets the stage for a possible legal challenge to the budget's changes to the governor's powers.

In an email, Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, called the "competitive" tax changes "one of the many necessary ingredients to being one of the best states to do business, which in turn allows us to invest in education and infrastructure".

Cooper said the tax break would again benefit the wealthy and corporations.

North Carolina Republicans have taken the first step to cancel Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the state budget.

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