NC Senate won’t override budget veto, leaving teachers without pay raise

NC Senate won’t override budget veto, leaving teachers without pay raise
Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) addresses reporters on the fate of a budget veto override in the senate (Source: Corey Schmidt)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - The North Carolina Senate does not have the votes to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget passed last year, senate Republican leaders announced Tuesday morning.

The North Carolina General Assembly convened on Tuesday for a one-day session. Speculation mounted ahead of the session on whether there were votes to override the veto, which was already overridden in the House.

When the Senate first passed the budget last year, four Democratic senators voted for the proposal. Since then, one of those senators has resigned and then three remaining senators have said they will not vote to override the budget.

In speaking about the budget Tuesday morning, Senate Republican leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said the budget was being held up by Cooper’s insistence on including Medicaid expansion as part of the budget.

But Senate Democratic leader Dan Blue (D-Wake) held a press conference an hour later in which he focused on pay for teachers and other educators, who are caught without a pay raise in the budget back-and-forth.

“Public educators have been singled out in this budget stalemate that were embroiled in,” Blue said.

During his press conference Tuesday morning, Berger pushed back on the notion that it would be possible to negotiate teacher pay raises separately from the budget, which Cooper had previously proposed.

“I don’t believe the Governor is serious about negotiating teacher pay raise," Berger said, noting that because of the large sums of money involved in pay raises, that singular issue cannot be negotiated in a vacuum.

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