Budget Impasse: The Weak, The Inhumane and The Dishonest
We're now in the new fiscal year and still not budget deal has been reached. WRAL has the story of House and Senate Democratic leaders calling on Republicans in the General Assembly to have a more open and inclusive budget process,
"The governor, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger all pledged to raise teacher pay this session and be done by July 1," Hall, D-Durham, said, referring to the House and Senate leaders. "Well, now it's July 1. There's no budget, no teacher pay raise, no clear path forward, not even conferees meeting."
Blue, D-Wake, criticized the governor's budget for giving raises to starting teachers but not veteran educators, the Senate proposal for cutting blind, elderly and disabled people off Medicaid and the House budget for "gambling" on increased lottery revenues that lottery officials said were unrealistic.
"So, we've had the weak, the inhumane and the downright dishonest," Blue said.
"It's obvious to most folks that, if you give away a substantial amount of the money – over half a billion dollars a year – to your very wealthy friends and out-of-state corporations, it’s not going to be there when you need it to fund the teacher pay raises," Blue said. "It’s time to admit when you’ve done a bad and start doing the right thing, and this giveaway last year to out-of-state corporations and very wealthy folk got us in this predicament, and it’s time for us to start fixing it."
Blue and Hall urged House and Senate leaders to open the budget talks to the public and to seek input from more experienced Democratic budget writers. They said the change might help GOP leaders stop "talking past each other" and start working on a compromise.
"It's time to open conference negotiations and seriously put teachers first," Blue said. "These guys ran for office. It's time to expect them to lead."
It's costing NC taxpayers $50,000 every day the General Assembly is forced to stay in session. It's time to stop the political games and bring all parties together for an agreement.