It’s been nearly 2 months since Governor Cooper vetoed the state budget and it seems like there’s still no compromise in the works.
The sticking points remain teacher pay and expanding Medicaid and now, teachers are back in the classroom, and school is about to begin for many in our state — but no budget.
There’s a lot for teachers in both versions of the budget.
When it comes to moving forward, lawmakers are still at odds.
Republicans and Democrats both agree more needs to be done to help teachers in the classroom.
This includes more money for school construction and school safety.
Districts need more cash to add resource officers, pay for school supplies, and help with school lunches.
Republican Rep. John Bell said, “We were able to fund a lot of those through the budget but because of the stalemate, that’s where we are at.”
Democrat Rep. John Ager said, “95% of the budget is agreed upon, it’s just these few things.”
The Legislature’s budget right now has teachers earning a 3.8% pay raise over the next 2 years.
The governor wants to see an 8.5% pay raise.
Gov. Cooper said, “Let’s pay our teachers more, let’s invest in our public schools, we have the money to do it.”
Expanding Medicaid is the other main issue holding up progress.
The governor says he won’t sign a budget without it.
Many Republicans say let’s pass the budget then discuss Medicaid.
Democratic Representative Ager says he doesn’t think the republicans will ever get enough votes to override the veto and it’s time to start negotiating.
Republican Representative Bell says starting next week, Republicans will start to sit down and talk about passing certain sections of the budget. He says they’re able to do that — to get some progress made without passing the full budget.
We’ll keep you updated on any progress.