House rejection begins North Carolina budget negotiations

Christine T. Nguyen—The North State Journal
Members of the North Carolina House of Representatives at the General Assembly (Christine T. Nguyen | The North State Journal)

RALEIGH — North Carolina budget negotiations can begin in earnest after the House formally rejected the Senate’s two-year spending plan.

The House declined Tuesday to accept the Senate budget approved last week. The House approved its own plan a month ago. The two Republican-controlled chambers aim to get a budget compromise to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper soon.

Cooper told reporters earlier Tuesday he’d like to be involved in talks but expects it to be largely a legislative exercise for now. He’s got problems with both plans, particularly on corporate tax cuts and the absence of Medicaid expansion.

Cooper could veto the legislature’s budget, leading to extended negotiations with him if Republicans can’t override the veto. The governor wants expansion but wouldn’t say he’d refuse to sign a budget without it included.