House budget writers adopt the extreme view that NC constitution is optional
Last week, the Republican-led state House unveiled it’s 600+ page budget that falls short of truly investing in North Carolina. House lawmakers voted 72 to 41 on Thursday to give final approval to their $25.7 billion budget plan that prioritizes tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy while ignoring the needs in education, public health and our state’s infrastructure.
Written behind closed doors, the state House budget lacks transparency, equitable policies and addressing North Carolinians’ long-standing unmet needs.
- The GOP House budget writers showed that they – like their counterparts in the Senate – have no interest in fulfilling their constitutional obligations to North Carolina students. Once again, choosing to ignore the state constitution in order to keep our schools underfunded, under-resourced and deny generations of North Carolina’s children from having an education they deserve.
- The GOP House budget also fails to expand Medicaid to 500,000+ uninsured working adults, censors our educators from giving students an adequate education and includes funding a law that is currently being challenged in court and could strip away thousands of North Carolinians’ freedom to vote.
- In terms of raises, House Republicans prioritized their own party over NC teachers and state employees — giving $120,000 to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson for an “education advisor” position while teachers receive a measly 5.5% raise and most other state employees would get 5% raises over the next two years.
- “We should be empowering educators - not censoring their curricula. We should be investing in our communities - not cutting taxes for big businesses. And we should be using this once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunity to build a North Carolina that works better for everyone,” House Democratic Leader Robert Reives said in a statement.
For several years now, Republicans in the North Carolina legislature, led by Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have resisted every call to adopt Medicaid expansion, give teachers and state employees a decent wage, and rightfully invest in the future of children across our state.
Through the latest state House budget, Republicans are doing what they know best; prioritizing corporations and the wealthy while choosing to violate the state’s constitution, denying 500,000+ North Carolinians’ health care coverage, censoring how we teach our kids, and failing to make once-in-a-generation investments in our communities.
The pandemic has impacted communities across our state and increased long-neglected needs. With negotiation talks on the horizon, North Carolina Republicans should go back to the drawing board and follow Governor Roy Cooper’s blueprint in moving North Carolina forward through equitable, transparent and sustainable means.