Town hall on NC budget held in Greenville

Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 10:27 PM EDT
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The state budget was the topic of discussion at a town hall in Greenville Thursday night as folks asked questions to local lawmakers and policy advocates while the budget fight continues in Raleigh.

Republicans in the State House have proposed legislation to expand Medicaid coverage after Governor Cooper vetoed the budget because it didn't include those funds.

Melvin Montford attended the town hall and says, "I think the legislators need to know that we're watching what they're doing."

Montford was among those who brought questions to the town hall, one of several being held across the state by voter advocacy group Progress NC Action.

Voters heard from experts and advocates about where the budget stands now as it waits for action in the state house.

Democratic State Senator Don Davis voted for the budget, but now says he would stand by the governor's veto if the bill makes it back to the State Senate.

State House Speaker Tim Moore is pushing back against Cooper's demands for Medicaid funding, saying the governor is blocking billions of dollars in taxpayer money in the budget as leverage to expand the federal program.

It is possible that the veto could be overridden and the budget could pass.

Republican State Senator Jim Perry says Republicans are willing to compromise. Both he and Davis agree now is the time for bipartisanship.

Montford hopes that will lead to a positive outcome for eastern Carolina. "It looks like we have a conflict of opinions on the budget so I'm hoping they'll get together now and compromise and come out with a good budget."

Now it is a bit of a waiting game to see if Governor Cooper's veto is overridden. If it is overridden in both the House and Senate then the budget will pass.. If not it could mean a new budget will have to be proposed.