Raleigh, N.C. — If Republican legislative leaders are sincerely hoping Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will sign off on their spending plan, they have an odd way of trying to win him over.
The final spending plan, unveiled just before midnight Monday, includes a major budget cut to the Governor's Office. The $979,000 cut for each of the next two years would represent a 17 percent reduction in funding for staff and operations in Cooper's administrative offices.
That's a larger cut than was proposed by either the House or the Senate in their original plans.
When asked about cuts to executive branch agencies Monday afternoon, before the budget document had been made public, House chief budget-writer Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, would only say, "There are economies in a number of these state agencies in this compromise."
Asked about the cuts Tuesday, Cooper chalked them up to "political spite" but said his office would find a way to get its work done regardless.
"I'm keeping my eye on the big picture, and what I am worried about is the fact that this budget has provided tax giveaways for those who have instead of investing in education," Cooper said. "I'm keeping my eye on making sure that our budget for our state has vision and invests in education, and this budget does not do that."