North Carolina lawmakers are still at an impasse over the state budget and Governor Pat McCrory told WITN Monday he isn't backing down from plans to veto the NC Senate's proposed budget, which would raise teacher's salaries by an average of 11 percent.
The governor is hopeful that a resolution is on the way, but he's holding steadfast to his position that an 11 percent raise for teachers at the expense of what he says would be laying off thousands of teacher assistants and cutting Medicaid recipients, is not the way to go about it.
Governor McCrory was in Morehead City Monday to take in the Coastal Plains League All Star Game and throw out the first pitch.
The real hard ball being played is taking place in the capital over the budget. How to pay for an increase in teacher salaries is at the center of the negotiations.
Governor McCrory says, "We're having a disagreement on whether we should reduce the number of teacher assistants and I'm strongly opposed to that and opposed to reducing Medicaid services to the elderly, the disabled."
According to NC Policy Watch, 7,000 teaching assistant jobs could be at risk.
Pitt County School District officials told us the last plan they looked at meant 118 teacher assistant jobs being cut in their school district.
Senate Leader and fellow Republican Phil Berger has criticized McCrory's statement that he would veto the senate's current plan - saying he is disappointed given that the governor's proposed budget included almost 20 million dollars in cuts to teacher assistants and significant cuts to Medicaid.
But McCrory isn't backing down from using his veto power if it comes to that.
He says, "I've got the executive authority to veto and if necessary I'll use that veto, but in the mean time, I hope we can work out an agreement."
Representatives from both Pitt County and Beaufort County Schools both said that they're kind of used to being in this sort of holding pattern, at least the last two years, in dealing with budget talks.
Pitt County says they're not feeling any great effects right now because they're still working off last year's budget.
Beaufort County says they have 70 positions right now that they don't know if they'll be able to fill as they wait on a resolution to all of this.
The governor said next he is planning to talk to Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger, but he didn't give a timeline for when those meetings would take place.