Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis held a press conference today to frame the highlights of what they say has been a successful session.
Both leaders said the budget veto override was their most important success, but they also pointed to regulatory reform, tort reform, charter school changes, medical malpractice reform, and Voter ID.
“This has been a session of real accomplishment and, I think, a real change in direction for North Carolina,” said Berger.
When asked about whether the deep cuts in the budget might bring political fallout for the GOP, Berger said he was fairly certain the cuts would get some negative news coverage, but said there’s no way to cut more than $2 billion in spending without cutbacks.
“The political blowback will be on the governor,” Tillis said. “I think jobs are going to be created” when the economy turns around “in six or eight months.”
“The governor bets our budget will fail. I think she made the wrong bet. She’s not going to be able to explain the “Chicken Little” that’s been in the press for the past three months,” said Tillis.
Tillis and Berger are sending the governor a raft of bills this week related to their 100-day agenda, including voter ID and abortion restrictions. Perdue is widely expected to veto several of them. But Tillis says they won’t allow the threat of red ink to set their agenda.
“We have kept the promises we made,” Tillis said, referring again to their successful budget veto override. “These other things, well, we’ll be back next year, and – my guess – again in 2013.”
Watch the full press conference at right.