Cooper slams NC budget deal, calls it ‘most fiscally irresponsible’ he’s ever seen

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state budget deal reached by Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly contains much that lawmakers will support but plenty that could cause Democrats such as Gov. Roy Cooper to oppose the plan.

RELATED: NC budget agreement raises salaries, delays tax cuts

The Senate was expected late Tuesday to hold the first of two votes on the final two-year spending plan. The House could follow Wednesday.

The agreement reached by House and Senate GOP negotiators includes pay raises for teachers and state employees and a retiree pension increase. There’s also more money for at-risk 4-year-olds to attend preschool.

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But the measure doesn’t spend as much as Cooper wanted, and he’s unhappy with tax cuts again benefiting the wealthy and corporations. And during a time of surpluses, Republicans directs that spending in Cooper’s office be reduced by 10 percent.

RELATED: Click here to view the budget plan

Cooper on Tuesday slammed the bill at a news conference, saying that this budget is “worse” than the previous one and it’s the “most fiscally irresponsible” budget he’s ever seen.

Cooper could be poised to veto it unless GOP lawmakers turn against the two-year spending plan that their colleagues wrote.

The measure will get its first votes later in the day. He says the final plan failed to do better on public school teacher pay even though House and Senate lawmakers agreed to spend $130 million more than their competing plans called for after final negotiations.

Cooper also criticized tax cuts in the final proposal because they benefited highest wage-earners and corporations. Those tax changes wouldn’t take effect until 2019 but also benefit low- and middle-income tax filers.

When asked if he would veto the final budget, he first urged Republicans to vote against it but said “this budget is wrong for North Carolina.”

...[READ MORE]   Source: WNCN Durham County News