@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Is the key to a budget deal bologna?

Posted July 14
Updated July 15

Gov. Pat McCrory

— Is the key to a budget deal a locked door and a plate of sandwiches? 

Gov. Pat McCrory spoke for an hour Monday with WFAE, a Charlotte public radio station, covering a number of topics, including the current budget impasse. McCrory told host Mike Collins that he was looking for a middle ground.

"I did it with tax reform last year," McCrory said. "The Senate Republicans came up with a tax reform I thought went too far and would put at risk our budget. The House was a little bit more moderate, and I was probably somewhere in between. I brought major legislative leaders into a conference room in the old State Capitol building ... and basically locked the door and brought in some bologna sandwiches in and said, 'We're not leaving here until we get it resolved.' I may have to do the same thing here with this."

So was that the way it happened? 

"I think that's pretty accurate," said House Speaker Thom Tillis, although a nearby staffer quipped that he remembered there being roast beef and cookies.

Asked if thought the meeting was a pivotal part of the budget talks, Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said that it came at a key moment. "I think it was a key part," he said. 

So, would a similar closed-door picnic be the thing to cure this year's budget impasse, which has pitted the House and McCrory versus the Senate for more than a week? 

Tillis didn't say. 

"I hope we do something," said Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson.

Apodaca couldn't remember if the doors were really locked during that Capitol meeting, but he said that tax package negotiation was much as McCrory described.

"It worked," he said. "I would consider that one of the high points in terms of working together." 

More notes from McCrory's conversation: 

  • Asked why the sate didn't expand Medicaid, McCrory repeated two well-worn answers, saying the state was working on repairing the existing system and the uncertainty surrounding future costs of offering Medicaid to those with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level. That said, he didn't reject the notion outright. "I'm leaving that door open once we fix the current system," he said.
  • He said politics had led the General Assembly to pass a bill that would have stripped him of his appointments to the Board of Review, a three-member panel that serves as an appeals body for unemployment claims. He vetoed that bill.

    "I appointed a former Democratic mayor of Greensboro on the commission, which I thought ought to be a bipartisan commission, and then I appointed two others. And frankly, I had a state legislator who wanted the job and I did not give it to her."

    The mayor McCrory referred to was Keith Holliday, a former mayor of Greensboro. Sens. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and William Rabon, R-Brunswick, played a key roll in crafting that provision. In an interview two weeks ago, both men denied that Holliday was a problem, both saying they didn't know his name or background. Rather, they said, McCrory had failed to make the appointments by the timetable set up in the law.

    The lawmaker in question is widely acknowledged to be Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, who has denied wanting the post.
6 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Winchester-.308 Jul 15, 1:11 p.m.

    This headline clearly was intended to mis lead the already uninformed voter to think negatively about the GOP Governor.

  • maybetoolatedixon2 Jul 15, 10:05 a.m.

    These foods cause flatulence and we have enough of that in Raleigh. What the Governor needs is oxygen to clear his head, based on prior appointments during his term. He gave some of the Moral Monday folks cookies and that didn't work too well. What we need to see is leadership, this budget thing has gone on too long. Lock them in a room with no food would be better.

  • SaysWhoNC Jul 15, 9:34 a.m.

    McCrory.

    Baloney.

    McCrory -- Baloney. McCrory Baloney.

    Priceless!

  • wildpig777 Jul 15, 9:13 a.m.

    bologna - nope, they are serving SPAM. spam and beanie weenies. you see both of those food items help promote the professional line of hot air that we have come to expect from our democrat and republican politicans. feel free to quote me. spam and beanie weenies- don't forget that. lets see- given the support and the raises our teachers and state employees have received the last 6 yrs- that explains why all they can afford to buy is spam and beanie weenies.....

  • xylem01 Jul 15, 8:58 a.m.

    Thom Tillis is nothing more than a pull-string doll.

  • wildpig777 Jul 15, 8:57 a.m.

    WRAL is quickly becoming the MSNBC of NC news.

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    msnbc censors as well?