• 45°

Editorial: Amid monthlong stalemate, embrace compromise

More than a month ago, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the state legislature-approved budget, and North Carolina seems no closer today to finding compromise than it was in late June.

“This is a bad budget with the wrong priorities,” Cooper wrote in his veto message. “We should be investing in public schools, teacher pay and health care instead of more tax breaks for corporations.”

Since then and after the legislature was unable to override the budget, Republicans have all but climbed on the roof of the legislative building in Raleigh to shout, “the sky is falling.”

Senate Leader Phil Berger’s office, in particular, has taken the lead on lambasting Cooper, with his office issuing statements saying the veto threatens to cancel raises for state employees and jeopardizes vital funding for areas ravaged by Hurricane Florence. North Carolina is going without a new budget because of Cooper’s “Medicaid-or-northing ultimatum,” Berger’s office said.

Sen Carl Ford, R-33, has framed the veto in local context, saying money for Rowan and Stanly counties is uncertain because Cooper refuses to negotiate. Now, $53 million is in jeopardy, including money for schools, the Bell Tower Green Park and West Rowan Volunteer Fire Department, among other things.

“It’s not right to block all this funding just because of one policy disagreement,” Ford said in last week’s newsletter. “The governor is holding Rowan and Stanly Counties’ funding hostage over Medicaid expansion, and he refuses to drop his ultimatum so negotiations on the budget can move forward.”

That’s a slight departure from what he said last month. Speaking to reporter Liz Moomey in late June, Ford said about local funding, “I think it’s done … I think they’ll get their money. It may be delayed.”

On the other side of the aisle, seemingly every day Cooper’s office has repeated the line that there’s been no response from legislative Republicans on a budget compromise.

Amid the stalemate, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer had a good idea — get Berger and Cooper to debate Medicaid expansion since that’s what’s brought forth the current predicament. A spokesman for Berger told the newspapers the Senate leader is ready to debate. Cooper is not.

In this case, Republicans in the legislature and Cooper are both guilty of playing politics with and contributing to the stalemate over the state’s budget. Fortunately, the state is continuing to operate on the prior year’s budget as our elected officials choose not to compromise. But that should not be the case for much longer. Cooper is unlikely to get Medicaid expansion exactly as he and other Democrats hope. And Republicans will need to give a little on Medicaid expansion if they want to ensure implementation of other priorities in the budget. It’s time to embrace the lost art of compromise.

Comments

Local

Lane, ramp closures scheduled for I-85 in Salisbury

Crime

Blotter: March 8

Ask Us

Ask Us: How can homebound seniors be vaccinated?

Local

Political Notebook: Interim health director to talk COVID-19 at county Democrats breakfast

Local

‘Their names liveth forevermore:’ Officials dedicate Fire Station No. 6 to fallen firefighters Monroe, Isler

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking into Salisbury High, getting juvenile to help

Nation/World

With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash