Home Carolina North Carolina GOP senators offer new teacher pay hike deal, Democrats reject

North Carolina GOP senators offer new teacher pay hike deal, Democrats reject


North Carolina Senate Republicans have offered Senate Democrats another compromise on the vetoed budget proposal, they said.

Senate Appropriations Chairs Republican Sens. Harry Brown, Kathy Harrington and Brent Jackson released a joint statement Thursday with the details.

“The offer provides a 4.9 percent raise for all teachers – including veteran teachers – plus a one-time $1,000 bonus, as well as various concessions on matters like the location of DHHS headquarters,” the statement said. 

Democrats rejected the deal and say they will not negotiate on those terms. Republicans say Democrats won’t compromise because they want Medicaid expansion and are being loyal to Gov. Roy Cooper, who vetoed the fiscal 2020 budget in late June.

The Republican spending plan excluded a $2 billion Medicaid expansion that Cooper sought and included a lower teacher pay raise amount than the governor wanted. Cooper proposed a 9 percent raise for teachers while the Republican-led budget conference proposed about 3.8 percent. 

Last week, Republicans proposed a teacher pay raise of 4.4 percent. That bill passed both chambers of the  GOP-controlled General Assembly but still needs the governor’s signature to become law.

“Gov. Cooper still has not dropped his insistence that the legislature pass[es] Medicaid expansion before he signs a budget,” the statement said. “Therefore, the only opportunity to have a new budget is a veto override.”

A Senate vote on a veto override was scheduled for last week. It was delayed each day and lawmakers are now on recess until Nov. 13.

Since Cooper’s veto of the budget in the summer, the General Assembly has passed about 98 percent of state spending for the current fiscal year in smaller pieces of legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue said those efforts made the governor’s veto “moot.”

“As much time as I have spent trying to negotiate with Republicans on a teacher pay plan that Governor Cooper would support, I won’t spend any time wondering why their strategy has changed,” Blue said in a statement.

The Democratic senator wants Republicans to compromise more.

“The math is simple: we can do more for our schools if Republicans give up on corporate tax cuts and pork projects in their budget,” he said.