Cooper blasts 'irresponsible' GOP state budget deal

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Gov. Roy Cooper criticizes NC GOP's budget plan.

Gov. Roy Cooper is not promising to veto Republican lawmakers' two-year state budget deal, but is appealing to legislators on both sides of the aisle to vote it down.

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The $23 billion budget compromise passed the Senate on Tuesday evening with bipartisan support.

The budget gives raises to teachers, state employees and retirees, and provides tax breaks that will cost $530 million when they take effect in 2019.

"It does pick winners and losers," said Cooper. "The wealthy win but the average middle-class family loses."

While Cooper had budgeted for setting aside $300 million for the state's rainy day fund, he called the Republican plan that puts $363 million into reserves, raising it to its highest level in history, fiscally irresponsible.

Cooper said the deal shortchanges education; he called for average teacher raises of 5 percent, while the GOP is budgeting for a 3.3-percent pay raise and other bonuses.

After passing the budget in the senate Tuesday, Senate Leader Phil Berger released the following statement:

"No matter how many times Roy Cooper recycles his divisive, hyper-partisan talking points, his rhetoric simply doesn't match reality. As many of his Democrat colleagues have already realized, this budget accomplishes the very same priorities Gov. Cooper campaigned on and claims to support. It's time for the governor to prove his words are more than empty rhetoric, stop being a hypocrite and sign this budget when it hits his desk."

The budget now heads to the House for a vote.

Should Cooper veto, Republicans, who control both chambers, will need a three-fifths majority to override.
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politicsstate politicsgeneral assemblybudgetroy cooperRaleigh
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