Jun 26

Questions for Cooper’s Budget Press Conference

The offices of Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) hope Gov. Roy Cooper will answer the following questions at Monday morning’s press conference on the budget:

  1. How many of your campaign promises being tracked by the media will you have achieved if you veto this budget? Are you concerned that the legislature has overridden every one of your vetoes? Are there any policy achievements you can point to showing you’re being effective as governor?

 

  1. This budget funds many of your stated priorities from the campaign trail and your budget proposal, like average 10 percent teacher pay raises, Hurricane Matthew relief, more Pre-K slots, state employee and retiree raises, opioid treatment, etc. How can you claim you succeeded in fulfilling your promises to voters if you veto this budget?

 

  1. Since you campaigned on “putting more money in people’s pockets by cutting taxes for middle class families, and providing the right incentives for more small businesses to create jobs” why would you veto the zero-tax bracket that provides the largest benefit to the middle class and takes 95,000 people off the tax rolls completely?  And why would you oppose lowering the tax rate on small businesses? How would a veto keep your promise?

 

  1. Since you don’t believe the General Assembly’s budget includes enough education funds, did you consider this is the fourth consecutive year the General Assembly has provided substantial teacher pay raises – raises that members of your party opposed?

 

  1. Your budget only spent about two percent more out of a $23 billion budget – and the average teacher raise is effectively the same over two years. Please explain your comments about this being the “most fiscally irresponsible budget you’ve ever seen.”

 

  1. During your time as a lawmaker, did you vote for budgets that included funding for special projects in individual communities? Have you ever benefitted from special projects in your district?

 

  1. Did your budget include funding targeted to individual communities and individual projects? Do you not stand to gain politically as you run statewide? How is that not hypocritical?

 

  1. If you are suddenly against funding for special projects in individual communities, should the state do away with jobs incentives programs that direct state tax dollars to individual communities?

 

  1. Do you believe the General Assembly’s focus on paying off billions in debt and generating substantial budget surpluses’ and billions in savings is evidence their approach is in-fact fiscally responsible?

 

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