Senate leader changes his tune on budget negotiations

Phil BergerIt’s funny how a little water under the bridge and a change of jobs can alter one’s perspective on public events.

This is from a 2009 News & Observer “Under the Dome” story about then-Senate Minority Leader (and current Senate President Pro Tem) Phil Berger slamming budget negotiations between House and Senate leaders — mind you, this was during a period of profound budget crisis in which the Great Recession was pummeling the state’s economy and tax revenues:

“Senate Republican leader Sen. Phil Berger said it’s another example of Democrats’ incompetence that the state doesn’t have a budget 14 days into the fiscal year.

‘For the average person, when they have a deadline and they need to get something done, they are held accountable,’ said Berger, an Eden Republican, at the weekly Republican news conference.”

Now flash forward to 2013. This is from a “Dome” story posted this morning:

“That sound you heard was summer vacation plans crashing for people who work at the legislative complex in Raleigh.

The Senate budget committee approved a stop-gap bill that would keep government running for a month after the current budget expires.

Negotiations on the new tax code and a new budget are not expected to be complete by the time the budget year ends on June 30, necessitating a temporary budget to keep government running.”

Got that? What was incompetence in 2009 is apparently just good ol’ horsetrading in 2013.

Now, it’s true that Berger’s 2009 broadside wasn’t issued until two weeks into the fiscal year, but it’s also true that Berger’s 2013 stopgap bill contemplates that negotiations will continue throughout the month of July — a full 31 days past the official “deadline.” Moreover, the challenges confronting the General Assembly then were dramatically more daunting than those that confront lawmakers in 2013.

Perhaps, at a minimum, we can count on Senator Berger to bring the 2013 session to a close by the week after next — i.e. prior to the July 14 “incompetence” deadline he identified four years ago. Stay tuned.


  1. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Yeah, the main change here is that the current legislature is actually trying to get something done to reverse the decades of mismanagement that had taken place under progressive regimes. It takes time when you have so much to tackle.

  2. Gene Hoglan

    June 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Governmentin’ is harder than it looks.

  3. Cynthia

    June 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    “Progressive Regimes”. I would much rather live in a “progressive regime” than the “regressive tyranny” we are currently being forced to live under! In life you need to continue to be progressive and not revert to the mistakes of the past as the current group of legislators seems determined to do!

  4. Frances Jenkins

    June 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Living in the corrupt regime of the Democrats for the past 140 years has been a disaster for NC. Regressive tyranny is best defined as liberal corrupt Democrats stealing from those who labor for a living. The future of North Carolina is beginning to look bright and with hope. Supreme Court ruling has provided the spark of hope. The new governor has announced 540 new jobs this week. NC is turning to help the average common folks in NC.

  5. NoGOPinNC

    June 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    We are going to look fondly back on the democrats after this group of unscrupulous self-serving morons takes our state back to the good ol boy days….I have followed politics in this state since the 70s and we have never had a less transparent and more easily bought group of legislators than were elected by a MINORITY of North Carolinians….

  6. david esmay

    June 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Frances, now McTool has to do that for 1000 consecutive weeks to get us back to pre- recession levels and with his horse and sparrow on steroids policies, it ain’t gonna happen. By the way, why don’t drop the virtual cross-dressing and use your real name?

  7. Frances Jenkins

    June 26, 2013 at 6:50 am

    David, David, I thought Greg and Rob said posters could not be ugly on here. Follow the rules.

  8. NoGOPinNC

    June 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Ah how the right loves to scream…post a fact on civitas countering their propaganda and lies and watch how quickly your post disappears

  9. Doug

    June 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Well Cynthia, you had your last major chance to live in a progressive regime back in the 1917-1990 time frame. Assuming you were too young to make the trip and live there during those times….there is always Cuba, China, Venezuela, and I am sure I am missing other socialist/communist utopias. If you would like to live there, I will donate to the cause. Just set up a paypal…….. We know how well progressivism works because so many people in those countries are on the leading edge of economic prosperity and human rights are all honored reverently.

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