The North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh.
The North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. File photo by Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

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Early this morning, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted 73-46 to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the state budget.

This afternoon, the North Carolina Senate followed suit and also voted 31-19 to override the governor’s veto, making the state budget, also known as the Appropriations Act of 2011, now a done deal.

During the House session prior to the vote, House Minority Leader Rep. Joe Hackney (D-Chatham, Moore, Orange) said the budget is “the worst educational budget in modern history and that people don’t want it.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) said the budget, contrary to what the Democrats and the governor have contended, will create jobs in the private sector. “It’s time to put all of this rhetoric aside,” Stam said, describing the budget as being responsible in difficult economic times.

At today’s Senate session, Democratic Leader Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. (D-Buncombe) said with regards to education cuts in the budget, “We have awakened a sleeping giant…The people feel a closeness to their teachers and the public schools in this state and they will fix this problem they will not let us sit here in Raleigh and do harm to our kids and the public schools of this state.”

Sen. Richard Stevens (R-Wake) from the Senate floor talked about how using the one-time federal stimulus money to fund operating costs rather than one-time projects was a calculated risk. He also said the budget includes $200 million more in what will have been spent this year on K-12 in the state and put in $55 million more in for school capital construction than the governor put in.

What do you think?

Since we launched Carolina Public Press on March 3, we’ve been following the evolution of the state budget and reporting on the impact the budget’s spending directives may have on the citizens of Western North Carolina. Our coverage has included stories, documents, resources and more in our Special Report-State Budget Impact and our Special Report-Children in WNC.

We want to hear from you and want you to share your opinions about the final ratified version of House Bill 200-North Carolina 2011-2012 budget.

Do you agree with the House and Senate’s override of the governor’s veto of the budget?

Do you think the budget’s directives will have a positive or negative impact on people in the 17 westernmost counties of the state?

We invite you to share your comments here or on Carolina Public Press’ Facebook page or via Twitter.

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Kathleen O'Nan

Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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