How NC budget controversy could affect bipartisanship

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — It’s been one week since North Carolina House Republicans voted to override the governor’s state budget veto while many Democrats were absent. But on Tuesday, the two parties worked together to pass new legislative district maps. So how well will they be able to work together in the future?

Last week, New Hanover County Rep. Deb Butler, a Democrat, made national headlines when she called out Republican Speaker Tim Moore, after he called for a vote on the budget while a majority of Democrats were absent.

“You shall not do this to democracy in North Carolina, Mr. Speaker!” was just one of the many things Rep. Butler exclaimed during the session.

Democrats say they were told there would not be any votes until later in the day, but Republicans denied this. So what will this mean for the two parties going forward? UNCW Political Science Professor Aaron King, Ph.D. says it could have an affect on their ability to compromise.

“I think that things like this do make it more difficult for people to put aside some of their differences and come to common ground because they take things like this quite personally,” King said.

Although many Democrats cried foul after last week’s vote, Donald Bryson, president of conservative think tank Civitas Institute, questions why more of them weren’t there to vote.

“I’m still a little curious about, if the democrats weren’t in the room and we know they weren’t at 9/11 memorials, where in fact were they? What were they doing?” Bryson asked. “And if they weren’t at a voting session of the general assembly, did they also claim per diem for the day?”

Two weeks ago, a three-judge panel ruled that legislative maps drawn in 2017 by a Republican majority were unconstitutional and needed to be redrawn. On Tuesday, the two parties worked together to draw new maps. Bryson believes this is a good sign.

“There’s always going to be some sort of partisan discontent on the maps, but I think it’s clear that some bipartisan support was had for both sets of maps, and they were able to get those passed in time for the court order,” Bryson said.

That three judge panel will still need to approve or deny those redrawn maps. Last week, Rep. Butler said Democrats would make a motion to recall the budget vote.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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