RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory says he’d veto any North Carolina budget plan on his desk that raises teacher pay dramatically like the Senate wants because it would mean huge cuts elsewhere to pay for it.
McCrory told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday he’s not going to risk key government services and allow Medicaid reductions to accept the Senate’s average 11 percent pay offer. The original Senate proposal cut funding for thousands of teacher assistants to pay for it.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement Thursday:
“I’m disappointed by the governor’s threat to veto the largest teacher pay raise in state history and surprised by his demand for a budget without cuts to teacher assistants and Medicaid – given that his own budget included almost $20 million in cuts to teacher assistants along with significant, though ultimately achievable, cuts to Medicaid.
“The governor has been unable to sustain any of his previous vetoes in the Senate. It would be more helpful for him to work with members of both chambers of the legislature, since his unwillingness to listen to those who have an honest disagreement with him on spending priorities in favor of staging media stunts and budget gimmicks is a major reason the budget has not been finalized.”
The governor is siding with the latest House offer to raises teacher pay on average by 6 percent, up from 5 percent. He says 6 percent is about as far as he can go and feel comfortable.
The two chambers are negotiating budget adjustment for the year that started July 1.