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Gov. Cooper Officially Vetoes NC Budget; Override Likely

NC Legislature
Colin Campbell
Leslie Maynor Locklear, left, talks about losing her two sons to opioid overdoses. She joined Republican senators at a news conference on a bill with stricter criminal penalties for opioid dealers.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has officially vetoed the $23 billion state budget bill approved by legislative Republicans.
Cooper returned the measure with his veto stamp Tuesday morning to the Senate, where the measure originated. The Democratic governor had already announced Monday his plans to reject the two-year spending plan, which he says neglects public education and the state's economy while giving tax cuts to the highest wage-earners and corporations.

"For my signature, they should fully fund teacher pay raises including starting and veteran teachers as I did in my budget so we can be on a path to get to the national average in a  few years," Cooper said during press conference on Monday.

Republicans counter that the plan increases education spending by $700 million and gives personal income tax breaks to nearly everyone, including low- and middle-class people.

GOP legislative leaders have vowed to override the veto, which they have the votes to accomplish if Republicans remain united.

The Senate would get first crack at an override vote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rusty Jacobs is WUNC's Voting and Election Integrity Reporter.
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