'Dialogue' but no progress on budget

Posted July 22, 2014

Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow

— A meeting between Senate budget writers and Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday yielded "good dialogue" but no progress, Senate leaders say. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown told reporters that no House members were present at the morning meeting with McCrory.

Brown, R-Onslow, said senators and the governor discussed their differing positions on Medicaid cuts and funding for teacher pay raises and teaching assistants.

"I think we gave the governor an opportunity to explain his position on certain things. We did the same to him," said Brown. "So, I think it was good dialogue, at least to hear his side of the story, I guess. And I think it was good for him as well to hear why our opinions on certain things were the way they were."

Asked whether it would move the negotiations forward, Brown wasn't optimistic. But he said the Senate is committed to staying in session until a deal on a budget adjustment is reached.

"I'm sure the governor will have a conversation with the House after the meeting this morning. Hopefully, the House will come back with a new offer," he said.     

Brown also confirmed that Senate leaders discussed their Medicaid reform plan with McCrory.

In Greensboro on Monday, McCrory spoke out yet again against the Senate's reform plan. He's been a vocal critic of the proposal, which would contract state Medicaid services to either commercial managed-care groups or provider-led accountable care organizations. It would also move Medicaid out of the Department of Health and Human Services into an new, independent agency.

DHHS leaders say the Senate bill would seriously destabilize the Medicaid program, which currently cares for 1.7 million North Carolinians. 

Despite McCrory's opposition, Senate leaders will move ahead with a floor vote on their plan Tuesday afternoon. 

"I think it was more to just kind of hash things out this morning," Brown said. "Nothing more than that."

Tuesday afternoon, House budget chair Justin Burr, R-Stanly, said House leaders have no plans to meet with the governor as the Senate did. He said the House has had more open communication with McCrory than the Senate has. 

"That's where the logjam is," Burr smiled. 


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  • Holly Atkins Jul 23, 2014

    I don't think any of the three want to make the announcement that teachers and state employees will NOT get a raise this year so that's part f the stall...who's willing to be the face of the bad guys? I say make McCrory say it!

    Eliminate two layers of executive positions within the agencies and you have your budget balanced. In other words, look at who has a cushy job because of WHO they know and not WHAT they know. Then fire them.

    This is worse than watching a room full of 2 year olds screaming because their toys were taken away!

  • maybetoolatedixon2 Jul 22, 2014

    I read the Governor had (good dialogue) with the Senate members this morning but did not come to an agreement. This is the same thing as we didn't do a doggone thing, call it like it is. I have bad dialogue about you all, under my breath. I am one disappointed Republican. One would guess that if you go to Raleigh you have to check your backbone at the city line. This budget should have been completed six weeks ago but they seem to go along as if there is no hurry. No more pay, no more party's that would produce a budget.

  • Stephania Sidberry Jul 22, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, lets stop feeding those greedy American citizen children. That'll teach 'em for being born!

  • lec02572 Jul 22, 2014

    Stop paying the legislators and the budget problems will be solved in hours. No stipend, no pay, and cut their staff. You will see an end to this stuff. Maybe, by election time. Better have something soon election time is coming.

  • juliomercado Jul 22, 2014

    The NC Senate is fast becoming an enemy of the poor, the state's school children, and the state in general. Take a few minutes and go check out your school system's hiring page. EVERY system in the state is in dire straights with less than a month to go until school starts. And the medicaid debate? How do you justify pushing several thousand defenceless poor people suffering from diseases and handicaps into the streets? How do you justify it?

  • Old-Guy Jul 22, 2014

    When you have absolute job security and un-earned benefits, why work when you can just 'talk'.

  • Eq Videri Jul 22, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I dunno. We had a bad run under the Dems. But the Repubs ran on: We'll do it better. They're not.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jul 22, 2014

    Incrediible. This has to be the most impotent, incompetent bunch of clowns we have ever had in our legislature. We all need to pray for the future of our state.

  • Paul Jenkins Jul 22, 2014

    Lifelong Republican here. I prognosticate my party loses quite a bit, and likely the majority, in the next election, and they have no one to blame but themselves. I'm all for honesty, assuming it's happening, and sticking to principles, but you have to be politically savvy, people. Going into late-July with no budget when you control both houses and the executive branch just reinforces that you haven't a clue and shouldn't be trusted. No message of "we really ground down and hammered this out to make sure it's right" will emerge from this debacle. Are teachers, as a block, ever going to vote for you? No, no they're not, but publicly giving them platforms to rail at you against (eliminating advanced degree pay, tenure, no raises) will endear the rest of the populace to their views with the exception of state employees. If you regain power within a hundred years, please learn from your mistakes. You had so much going for you.

  • Eq Videri Jul 22, 2014

    GO HOME!!!