Senate Leader Berger 'surprised' by veto

Posted April 19, 2011
Updated April 21, 2011

Senate Leader Phil Berger defended the Republican strategy on H383 to reporters today. That’s the bill that tied the extension of federal unemployment benefits to a budget provision that would have forced the governor to accept a minimum of a 13 percent budget cut next year. Perdue vetoed the bill Saturday.

“I was surprised that she vetoed the bill,” Berger said.

Berger says the proposed spending level is based on projections by state budget experts. “We know how much money we’ll have, and that’s where the 87% number comes from.”

“I think it’s fairly clear as far as the governor is concerned that she’s not interested in signing a budget unless it includes some sort of tax increase,” Berger said. “The people of this state don’t want a tax increase.”

Berger and Tillis announced this morning they will try to override the veto. That’s easily done in the Senate, where the GOP controls enough seats to reach the necessary 3/5 vote. But in the House, Republicans would need four Democratic votes to override.

If the override doesn’t work, would there be another benefit extension bill forthcoming? “We haven’t decided for sure,” Berger said. "We’ve sent a bill that extends those benefits. We asked the Governor to sign it. She said no. It is our hope that the governor will reconsider and will free the Democrats on the House side to vote for the override.”

When asked how much of the conflict over H383 is politically driven, Berger said, “It’s clear that there’s a philosophical difference between where we are and where the governor is. And I think there’s a philosophical difference between where the governor is and where the people are. I think that’s one reason you see her popularity ratings in the 30s - because the people don’t agree with her approach to government.”

“Her approach is that we need to continue to grow government, we need to continue to raise taxes,” Berger went on. “The voters have made it clear they want smaller government, they want lower taxes.”

A new Elon poll out yesterday shows the majority of NC residents, Democrats and Republicans, would support extending the temporary taxes for a year to avoid deep budget cuts.

But Berger dismissed those numbers: “You know, you’ve heard me say before the only poll that I’m interested in is the poll that happens every two years in November.”

Watch the conversation below, and sorry for the shaky-cam effects - I was catching it on videocamera. (It stabilizes pretty quickly, I promise.) Berger on veto Senate Leader Phil Berger on Veto


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  • ncteach10 Apr 21, 2011

    They need to spend time in the places they are cutting. I agree with andyasumtneer. We are raising the standards with Race to the Top, but lowering the team. Put 40 kids in a class with one adult, it becomes control maintenance, not education. I agree we need to cut, but start looking into the basic pet projects each member of House and Senate supports, go further and look where Republicans place their vote. It is not on the people. I am not for or against Republican or Democrat but for Rep for the People! If we do not stand up now, then you are looking at an elitist society in North Carolina. Where the rich dictate and the poor become ponds in their game.

  • stanmak Apr 21, 2011

    "BASIC goods and services! Education, health and human services, transportation, etc." All that is FINE! except, how can the state continue to spend more money than its taking in on some bloated programs?????

  • andyasumtneer Apr 20, 2011

    In November, a portion of the NC people voted for change, and in some cases, rightly so. Democrats had lost the respect of those voters, including many state employees and teachers. By voting them in, the people thought they would get rid of the politics. However, the NC people are also very quick on those elected officials who wish to strip the people of BASIC goods and services! Education, health and human services, transportation, etc.

    Senator Berger and the Republican party are showing their true nature. by stripping out the budget, the people say, hold on a minute, that is TOO much, and the Republicans IGNORE IT! The Republicans have a choice, to listen to the people and compromise with the Governor, or push their cost-gutting budget through.

    When your child comes home and says I have 40 children in my class or your friends are on unemployment because they happened to be one of THOUSANDS laid off by the state, thank Senator Berger and his party for saving you $80/year.

  • stanmak Apr 20, 2011

    i like how he corrected the reporter then she backpeddled down a rabbit trail.
    AVAILABLE REVENUE. the answer is not always raise taxes. if they did that then you all would moan about how taxes are being unequally spread.

  • ncteach10 Apr 19, 2011

    I for one am surprised as well,not of the veto, but the disregard the Republican party is showing for the people who voted them into office. If you watch the senate discussion opposition after opposition was requested for the bill. The R came back and gave almost the same bill back to the floor. NCAE was reported by the speaker to support, however when NCAE stood and were allowed to speak on their own they rejected the bill. The Senate and House is treating North Carolinian voters as they were stupid and unable to see the mirrors and flashy phrases they throw into the air. I can assure you that the North Carolina People are not as dumb as you are making us out to be and many understand the exact politics and game of Chicken the Senate and House are playing with people's lives with out any regard to their outcome. This comes on he heels of many losing their homes in the storms this weekend. I am ashamed of our Senate and House and for one Hopes Gov.Perdue stands strong for the people