This afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget approved by the legislature. The move will likely prove only symbolic as Republicans have enough votes to override the veto.
Cooper’s veto prompts us to once again evaluate the type of budget he would have approved – namely his budget proposal. Some relevant comparisons between Cooper’s budget and the one he vetoed include:
- Cooper’s budget would spend half a billion more taxpayer dollars
- Cooper’s budget would mark a $1.5 billion increase in spending over the current year
- Cooper’s year-over-year spending increase would have amounted to a 6.6% rise, the largest annual increase in ten years
- Cooper’s budget would have raised taxes by $110 million in the first half of 2019 alone
- Cooper’s budget would have expanded Medicaid, a massive expense that would blow a hole in the budget while doing little to actually improve access to care for enrollees
Additionally, Cooper’s irresponsible budget proposal has now been scored by the General Assembly’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division. Their research shows that Cooper’s ratcheting up of recurring spending obligations would result in a structural budget deficit of nearly half a billion dollars by FY 2019-20 ($469 M – see bottom right of pg. 2).
This means that, if Cooper had his way, by this time next year budget writers would be faced with finding nearly a half billion in spending cuts or imposing a half billion dollar tax hike.
So when Cooper says the legislative budget he vetoed “doesn’t cut it”, look to what he wanted to do and the fiscal devastation he wants to unleash on the state.