The budget proposal the Republican-led state Senate passed last week, and which House members started formally reviewing Tuesday, is chock-full of proposals that fail to meet the needs of North Carolinians.
Amid an influx of federal funding and billions in unreserved state funds, Republicans chose to prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy few and corporations over an adequate distribution of funds to ensure the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- State Senate leaders failed to include funding that aligns with the Leandro plan — a plan that adheres to lawmakers upholding the North Carolina Constitution in ensuring that all students have access to sound basic education.
- In the case’s most recent development, Judge David Lee has ordered state leaders to fully implement a seven-year plan to meet this constitutional obligation by the 2027-28 school year — yet through this budget, Republicans have signaled that they’d rather let piles of cash sit unused than make the investments necessary to provide NC students the bare minimum of what they are owed and what they’ve been waiting on for more than 27 years.
- The budget also fails to give state employees and educators adequate raises — giving three percent raises over the next two years, and features unnecessary provisions such as a provision that would limit a governor’s power during states of emergency and new anti-voter proposals that could have a lasting impact on North Carolinians’ freedom to vote.
Republican lawmakers have relied on an exhausted list of excuses over the years for failing to provide students with the education they are owed, giving educators embarrassingly low salaries, stripping away eligible voter’s access to the ballot box and favoring the wealthy over the needs of their constituents.
Through this budget, Republicans have once again proven that they are more concerned with their own political gain and cutting taxes for their wealthy friends over helping those struggling with low wages, facing hardship in putting food on the table and making investments necessary to provide all students with access to high-quality.
Instead of following Gov. Roy Cooper’s blueprint of addressing long-standing unmet needs while investing in the future of our state, the state Senate has laid out their continued effort in denying North Carolinians the resources and investments they need and deserve.