Last week, Progress NC and a number of other organizations including the Guilford Co. Association of Educators, the NC Black Alliance, and Indivisible Guilford County, held a budget town hall in High Point with local lawmakers. Sen. Michael Garrett, Rep. Amos Quick, and Rep. Ashton Clemmons all promised to stand up for public schools by sustaining Gov. Cooper’s budget veto, and Sen. Gladys Robinson and Rep. Pricey Harrison sent messages promising to do the same.
Democratic Rep. Cecil Brockman, on the other hand, refused to commit to sustaining the veto. Instead, Brockman claimed that Republicans will never bring the override vote to the floor because they don’t have the votes. But Brockman refused to entertain even the possibility that Speaker Moore does succeed in convincing a handful of Democrats to break ranks, and refused to say how he would vote if the veto override comes up in the House.
- In order to override the governor’s veto, Speaker Moore would need three-fifths of House members who are present and voting to support the override — that’s 72 of the 120 total seats. But Republicans only control 65 seats in the House, which means they’d need seven Democratic lawmakers to break ranks and support the veto override.
- Brockman’s assurances that the GOP budget is already dead are, based on all available evidence, pure fantasy. Speaker Tim Moore continues to put the budget on the calendar each week and is still trying to peel away Democratic votes.
- Tim Moore and legislative Republicans are just playing political games with people’s paychecks instead of doing their job. They can either call a vote on the veto override or negotiate with Gov. Cooper to produce a budget which Democrats can support. But instead, they are dithering and doing nothing.
- It has now been four weeks since Gov. Cooper sent a compromise budget to GOP leaders, who still refuse to negotiate.
Legislative Democrats must continue to stand strong for public schools and Medicaid expansion by sustaining Gov. Cooper’s veto. Republicans need to either call an override vote once and for all or admit they don’t have the votes and start negotiating with Democrats.