The newly-released House budget proposal merely repackages the same misplaced priorities as the Senate budget, failing to match Gov. Cooper’s plan to raise teacher pay to the national average, expand access to community college and broadband Internet, and combat the opioid crisis.
“A budget tells you a lot about someone’s values, and the House proposal shows that once again, Republican lawmakers would much rather give tax handouts to millionaires and big corporations instead of investing in North Carolina’s future,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “Once again, Republicans are shifting the tax burden onto working families while providing absolutely no plan to raise teacher salaries to the national average in any time frame. North Carolina needs forward-thinking leaders who care about everyone in our state, not just the folks at the top.”
- The House plan offers no meaningful tax relief for working families. It does not reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit, the best tax relief for low-income folks. Instead, the House gives special tax handouts to big corporations in specific industries.
- The House budget only funds $350,000 in new opioid programs, compared to $12 million for law enforcement and treatment programs in Gov. Cooper’s budget.
- The House budget leaves rural North Carolina behind, unlike Gov. Cooper’s budget which provided $30 million to create recruitment sites in rural counties and $20 million to expand rural broadband. The House provides no funding for any such initiative.
- The House budget document does not include funding for class size reduction, so specialty art, music, language teachers are once again at risk under the HB13 controversy that was supposedly resolved last month. This is a $293M unfunded mandate on our public schools, compliments of state lawmakers in Raleigh.
- The House budget does nothing to restore the 7,000 teaching assistant jobs which have been cut since the recession started. Republicans hope parents simply forget that those TAs used to assist teachers in lower grade classrooms.
- Textbook and technology funding only receives a non-recurring $10 million increase the first year, so there is still a huge gap compared with before the recession.
- The House’s two-year budget provides two years of added money for taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, but only one-year of added money for public school textbooks.