RALEIGH (September 11, 2019) – This morning House leadership held a vote to override the budget – a vote that has been delayed since Governor Cooper’s June 28 veto – with just over half of the members present. This process was unacceptable; all representatives of the people deserved to vote on the budget veto, especially in light of the grave concerns about the priorities set and those missing in the legislative proposal. Keeping them from the table dishonestly is unconscionable.
The conference budget – that has now cleared its final step in the House before implementation – fails to provide the much-needed investments that will support a thriving North Carolina. It under-invests in our collective well-being – cutting existing health care services for those in need, failing to provide each child with a quality learning experience from birth to K-12, rejecting the protections needed to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink – and in so doing hampers our ability to prepare for the future and protect against further harm in the next recession.
The conference budget that the Governor vetoed continues to limit our state’s ability to invest in what matters because it proposes more tax cuts for corporations, and continues to hold in place other tax cuts that have benefited the wealthy few at the expense of our communities.
The veto is meant to force real and honest deliberation when the executive and legislative leadership don’t agree on major questions of policy. Over the past several months, it had been working. Legislative leaders were facing the reality that the health care coverage gap is hurting families, communities, and our economy – and that they were not able to ram through another round of tax cuts for wealthy people and corporations. Discussions of potential solutions need to happen now, and those leaders who have thwarted the budget process should commit to debate and passage of Medicaid expansion.
North Carolina needs a process and a final budget that reflects the priorities of every North Carolinian. Our state is faced with real challenges by not recognizing the powerful role that public investments can play in boosting our collective well-being. Our legislative leadership should immediately recall the veto override vote and work across the table to develop a budget that can strengthen our state for the future. Failure to do so not only puts our fiscal house out of order, it shakes the foundations of our democracy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Alexandra Sirota, email@example.com, 919.861.1468; Mel Umbarger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.856.2567