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Cooper pitches budget fixes GOP unlikely to back

- Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday that he plans to veto the $23 billion state budget that lawmakers passed last week, calling it "short sighted and small minded".

The legislature's GOP leadership says the governor got the things he asked for in his own budget proposal, including funds for Hurricane Matthew relief, infrastructure fix and rainy day reserves. "Children who lost parents in wartime serving our nation can never be repaid, but Cooper should help those children get a good education, rather than vetoing their opportunities".

"We need a budget that matches the big dreams of our people", Cooper said. It lacks the vision that our state demands at this pivotal time of growth and change, " Cooper said at a news conference. "It prioritizes tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, and falls short on education and the economy", said Cooper.

The budget includes raises for teachers and state employees, as well as lowering the personal and corporate tax rate.

The measure, while giving retirees a permanent 1 percent cost-of-living raise for their pensions, would end state-funded retiree health benefits for workers who get hired starting in 2021.

Republican leadership argued that their budget does align with many of Cooper's priorities, including lines for a 9.6 percent average teacher raise, $10 million for opioid treatment centers, and $700 million more for North Carolina classrooms. The other time happened in 2011, when Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto was overridden by Republicans. Republicans have overridden the previous four.

Debate and votes will be plentiful all week at the North Carolina General Assembly as Republican legislators aim to adjourn their annual work session before the July 4 holiday.



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