A bad budget with the wrong priorities for North Carolina
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Governor Cooper vetoes Republican State Budget
I stand with Gov. Cooper to push for investments in education and health care in the state budget instead of more corporate tax breaks and special interest earmarks. This is a bad budget with the wrong priorities for North Carolina.
The Republican budget has the wrong priorities for our state. Gov. Cooper is ready to negotiate, but Republicans have to come to the table in good faith.
This budget prioritizes the wrong things. It values corporate tax breaks over classrooms. Gimmicks over guaranteed school construction. And political ideology over people.
This budget falls woefully short on teacher pay. Governor Cooper proposed an average teacher pay raise of 9.1%. This budget does just 3.8% because it spends so much money on yet another corporate tax break.
Instead of a school bond, Republican legislators favor a SCIF (State Capital and Infrastructure Fund) that promises projects that may never get built. It siphons funds from other budget needs, like improving school safety, raising teacher salaries, or purchasing textbooks, at a time when the bond market is robust and the state can borrow at historically low interest rates to meet the construction needs of communities and schools.
This budget fails to close the health coverage gap, which would increase access to affordable healthcare for more than 500,000 North Carolinians and create thousands of jobs across North Carolina. So far, Republicans would rather have no negotiations at all than discuss expanding Medicaid.
This budget makes harmful new cuts to DHHS and regulators protecting clean drinking water at the Department of Environmental Quality, putting North Carolinians health at risk.
Instead of meaningfully investing in our entire state, legislative Republicans passed a budget with more than 500 earmarks with little transparency or understanding of where taxpayer dollars are going. That’s wrong.
There’s more to negotiating than bringing a bag of biscuits. Republicans need to quit playing politics and return to the negotiating table. When they are ready to talk, Governor Cooper has committed to working to reach a compromise.
So far, Republican legislators have been more interested in photo-ops and stunts than meaningful negotiations.
While legislative leaders have sent near daily letters on the topic of negotiations, they have refused to actually discuss any of the major priorities of North Carolinians. That needs to change.
Governor Cooper has proposed a plan for negotiations and is willing to work towards compromise, but every issue must be on the table for discussion.
Republicans have routinely negotiated budgets after July 1. They need to follow their own advice and use this extra time to work with Governor Cooper.
Under North Carolina law, there is no shut down during a budget impasse and since taking power, legislative Republicans have passed budgets after July 1 five times.
Republicans have always defended their delays saying it’s important to get the job done right. Now they need to follow that advice and meet Governor Cooper at the negotiating table. No more special interest budgets. Legislative Republicans should return to the negotiating table and work with @NC_Governor toward a real compromise.
Representative James D. Gailliard
committed to The People of Nash County-Rocky Mount
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