House and Senate Republican leaders gathered at the legislature Thursday to call on Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to sign the bipartisan budget proposal that was sent to his desk Thursday afternoon – and Berger reiterated that call on Friday as well.
The expectation has been that Cooper would veto the budget, but legislative leaders called on him to support the plan, while making it clear they would pursue an override vote if needed.
The budget passed easily in both chambers with veto-proof majorities, with some Democrats joining all of the Republicans in both chambers in passing the budget.
SB257, the budget bill, passed with 77 votes in the House on third reading and with 39 votes in the Senate.
A veto override requires a vote of three-fifths of the legislators voting. Thirty votes are required in the Senate for a veto override and 72 are required in the House, if the full chamber is voting.
The House and Senate have overturned all four of Cooper’s vetoes so far.
On Tuesday the governor said that he would make a decision on the budget as soon as it hit his desk, but no word has come from the Governor’s Mansion on the budget yet.
Berger said in an email release, “Once again, Gov. Cooper is proving his words mean little, but we hope this delay means he is actually reading the budget he dismissed before ever seeing and is realizing why so many of his fellow Democrats voted for the average 10 percent teacher pay raises, middle-class tax cuts and Hurricane Matthew relief that he promised voters.”
House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) also spoke out, calling on Cooper to not play politics and to sign the budget.
“When Republicans took over in 2011, the state had about $2 billion in debt,” Moore said in a press conference Thursday.. “Now, we’ve saved a record $1.8 billion in savings reserves. That’s a $4 billion swing from where we were. We’ve made responsible fiscal decisions. When naysayers said the sky would fall and revenues would drop following tax relief, what happened? We had budget surpluses.
“Now, we have a budget that’s going to cut taxes again. These tax cuts, they help everyone. When we raise the standard deduction, we help those who are working and earning the least. Gov. Cooper should sign this budget and fulfill his own promises to provide teacher pay raises, disaster aid and tax relief to the people of North Carolina.”