Republican leaders are urging Governor Bev Perdue to sign the budget lawmakers approved last week. So far she's held out and pushed for compensation for eugenics victims and more money for schools. But they say they don't have the money.
Perdue wants to add about $100 million to the budget, nearly all of that for schools. That also includes $5 million for compensation to eugenics victims. She'd tap a reserve set aside to deal with a potential shortfall in the Medicaid program to pay for that.
At a press conference, House Speaker Thom Tillis said that doesn't fly with him. "We're razor thin on reserves and the last thing we want to do is raid those reserves to go after what the governor suggested as a compromise," said Tillis.
Tillis spoke alongside Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger. "$100 million in a $20.2 billion budget it seems to me isn't the difference between Nirvana and devastation," said Berger.
The Republican leaders urged Perdue to sign the budget soon to give local governments and school boards time to plan before the new fiscal year begins Sunday. If she vetoes the budget, lawmakers would try to override it. But if that failed, Tillis says lawmakers would let the current two-year budget stand. And he says that's not a good option because it would cut several areas, including education and health and human services.