Raleigh, N.C. — Ten House Republicans broke ranks with their party and voted against the $20.6 billion budget that the legislature gave tentative approval to Tuesday.
Final votes were expected in the House and Senate Wednesday. The measure would then go to Gov. Pat McCrory. In the Senate, Rep. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, was the lone Republican in the Senate to buck his party.
In the House, the 10 GOP "no" votes were:
- John Blust, R-Guilford
- Robert Brawley, R-Iredell
- Brian Brown, R-Pitt
- Josh Dobson, R-McDowell
- Jeff Elmore, R-Wilkes
- Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus
- Chris Millis, R-Pender
- Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus
- Nathan Ramsey, R-Buncombe
- Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania
Brown went to the trouble of issuing a news release to explain his opposition.
"I maintain specific reservations with provisions relating to Education, Healthcare, as well as policy measures affecting East Carolina University. Due to specific provisions that could restrict the institutions that make up the ground work of my District, I could not support the current Budget Proposal," Brown said.
Johnson told the Charlotte observer she did not favor the budget provisions.
And Brawley tells WRAL he had a problem with how the budget was put together.
"I don't like putting policy in the budget," he said. Many of the education provisions, he said, were matters of law that had little to do with state spending. Placing policy matters in the budget, a bill "too big to fail," is an old trick at the legislative building, but one that can raise hackles.
"I'd just like to have a chance to discuss those provisions," Brawley said. "I didn't like it when the Democrats did that, and I don't like when Republicans do it."