The following is a press release from the office of Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham
In a letter to Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper asked the legislature to delay the budget until after the fiscal year deadline. That request directly contradicts the Governor’s June 19, 2019 statement in which he said “it would be better to have serious budget negotiations now instead of a drawn out process.”
In fact, there are a number of positions in the Governor’s June 19, 2019 statement that he seems to have now abandoned.
On June 19, the Governor said we should first agree on total budget availability and then move to critical items like taxes, education, capital investments, and healthcare access including Medicaid. On June 21, after the Governor returned from his trip to New York, legislative leaders presented their negotiating positions on total budget availability and each of the Governor’s priority areas. The leaders asked the Governor to move the numbers around and present his counter-offer. He has not done so.
On June 19, the Governor offered a two-track negotiating process: Medicaid expansion on one hand, and the budget on the other. Legislative leaders offered a special legislative session to discuss healthcare access, including Medicaid expansion, to accommodate the Governor’s request. The Governor refused.
In a phone call yesterday, legislative leaders again asked the Governor to submit his counter-offer to the numbers discussed last week. The Governor said he would speak to his staff and get back to the leaders. He has not yet submitted a specific counter-offer.