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The Latest: Cooper: New GOP budget strategy ‘another trick’

August 27, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the North Carolina budget stalemate between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders at the General Assembly. (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper calls a Republican strategy to pass narrow pieces of legislation that includes employee pay raises and other North Carolina budget items “another trick” and “bad public policy.”

Cooper told reporters on Tuesday that Republican lawmakers are going this route because they aren’t willing to negotiate in good faith on a comprehensive two-year budget plan that was supposed to be in place by July 1. He vetoed that GOP budget in June, citing in part the absence of Medicaid expansion.

Cooper rejected again accusations by GOP leaders that he won’t negotiate until they agree to expansion. But he also says he won’t give up on the idea in this impasse because he owes it to working people lacking insurance.

The governor declined to say whether he’d veto the handful of Republican “mini-budgets” likely soon heading to his desk.

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11:40 a.m.

North Carolina Republicans are attempting to take away bargaining chips from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in their two-month budget stalemate with narrowed tax and spending legislation they’re advancing.

The House and Senate debated on Tuesday several bills that would increase pay for state employees and law enforcement officers, as well as for local school workers like custodians. Other legislation would give one-time refunds to everyone who owed state income tax last year.

Everything except the tax rebate bill essentially originates from the $24 billion budget measure that Cooper vetoed in June because it lacked Medicaid expansion and generous teacher raises. Now Republicans are essentially daring Cooper to veto their new “mini-budgets.”

Cooper planned to address the budget impasse in a news conference later Tuesday.

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