#ncga: Dollar at center of budget talks breakdown

dollarMost everybody associated with the House-Senate budget conference says the breakdown of the talks can be pinned on one person:  state Rep. Nelson Dollar.   Said one in-the-know source:

“The Senate came to the table saying they weren’t going to deal with anything else until a solution to Medicaid is agreed on.  Nelson, speaking for the House side, says there will be no changes on Medicaid.  The Senate says ‘OK, we’re out of here. Come back when you’re ready to actually talk.’  And we’re at a standstill. My question for leadership is this: If you KNOW  the differences are a mile wide, and half that distance is where you need to go to get something accomplished, why would you send somebody, like  Nelson, who ain’t budging?”

Dollar rakes in a lot of campaign DOLLARS from the health care industry, and is well-known as an advocate for its interests.

Another Jones Street source chimed in for us:

“You can make a big statement by saying ‘we’ll sit here til December, if we have to.’  But what good does it do for our people who ran for office saying they were going to change Raleigh, and are running for reelection while this is going on? It looks like the same old stuff our side complained about for 140 years.”

My sources are telling me that it isn’t helping morale in the House when they are hearing one version of events about the budget conference from leadership, and something DIFFERENT from their GOP colleagues in the Senate.