RALEIGH, N.C. Local Charlotte — After not having a state budget in place for the past 80 days, a new budget deal has been reached in the North Carolina General Assembly, GOP leaders announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Senator Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore made a joint announcement on Tuesday evening saying that an official budget deal has been reached.
The General Assembly plans to vote on it on Thursday, September 21.
Prior to the announcement made just after 7 p.m., Republican legislative leaders pressed forward Tuesday with maneuvers that could by week’s end approve a long-delayed state budget, begin Medicaid for several hundred thousand low-income adults and multiply legal gambling through video gaming machines and new casinos.
But through one effort to tie gambling’s fate with Medicaid expansion, Republicans could potentially scuttle a landmark health care deal they had reached earlier this year with Gov. Roy Cooper, prompting the Democratic governor to decry what he called “the most brutally dishonest legislative scheme” he had seen while in state politics.
House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters that plans were in place in his chamber to vote on two separate bills, and he expected the same this week in the Senate.
But Senate leader Phil Berger’s comments later Tuesday were restrained, saying that negotiations were ongoing with the House and that the two-bill option and its contents were being considered.
“I think it’s more likely than not that we will get resolution this week,” Berger said.
While discussing the removal of the casino proposal in order to further the budget, Berger said he thought “emotions got the better of the discussion”.
“It was time for us to just move forward,” he said. “And it was just time for us to get the other things taken care of.”
Further, Moore added to the same point, saying, “This issue, and no one single issue should hold up should hold up the budget.”
As for gaming in N.C., Berger said he will continue to be supportive of such an expansion and will keep working toward getting it “enacted into law in North Carolina.”
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