Last Friday the N.C. Legislature sent a $23.9 billion budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year to Gov. Roy Cooper. There are provisions that Gov. Cooper does not like, but it doesn’t matter. Republicans have a super majority in both the House and Senate and will overturn any veto from the governor who wanted more money for education, including teacher raises.
The governor also does not like pork barrel spending. The budget contains “earmarks” reportedly totally $107 million for spending in districts represented by Republicans. Observers said it was a “to the victors go the spoils” gesture. There were no special earmarks in districts represented by Democrats. GOP Rep. John Blust of Greensboro decried the budget process and was the lone member of his party to vote against the bill. Legislative leaders this year shut out debate and amendments in the process, presenting the budget as a conference report. Some Democrats warned this process could set a precedent in future years, with no transparency in the process.