#ncga: Berger & co. slap back at Gov. Pat

He thought it was a neat idea. At the end of last session, Gov. Pat stood with House leaders and then-speaker Thom Tillis to blast the Republican-pbcontrolled Senate.  Our chief executive has had all kinds of harsh words for Senate leaders in the interim. Some Senate leaders — like Mr Apodaca –– have had harsh words for Gov. Pat. 

SOMEBODY has apparently convinced the governor that it would be a great idea to position the more-conservative state Senate as his enemy.  The governor’s team even went as far as commissioning push polls and whispering about primary opponents for various Senate leaders. That idea slammed head first into a brick wall when the polls came back showing those senators as being more popular than Gov. Pat. 

Two legislative proposals, that put the governor and Jones Street at odds, are in the news.  You have the governor’s economic incentives (some might say corporate welfare) package — which is supported by the House and not by the Senate.  You also have a pat worriedplan to redistribute sales tax proceeds — supported by the Senate and opposed by the House and the governor.

Gov. Pat threw down the gauntlet again last month when he threatened to veto ANY legislation that included the sales tax redistribution plan.   So, what does the Senate do?  They combine the two ideas — sales tax redistribution and economic incentives — into one bill and pass it.  That hot potato is now in the laps of House members and Gov. Pat.  Does the House pass this bill — giving the governor a win on his economic incentive package, but approving a sales tax redistribution they and the governor hate?  If they pass it — is Gov. Pat going to stand by his threat to veto ANYTHING containing sales tax redistribution?  In this case, a veto would cost him his beloved incentives package. 

Insiders I talk with tell me that — in all likelihood — this bill in its current version will end up deep in one of those “black hole” legislative committees never to see the light of day again.  But Jones Street’s upper chamber, and its leaders, will have made their point.