The Senate’s version of the budget is on the move, and it has been crafted to gain the support of enough House Democrats to overturn a gubernatorial veto. (Senate Republicans already have a veto-proof majority in their house.) For more information, see the “Senate Budget” article below, excerpted from our colleagues at the NC Justice Center, and the two linked articles which follow it.
So the decision on this terrible budget, terrible in more ways than a handful of articles can express, may well come down to whether the Governor (who has voiced strong opposition to the Senate’s budget) will exercise her veto power and whether any of the five House Democrats who voted for the House version of the budget earlier in the session will vote with her to sustain a veto.
Immediate Action Needed:
Contact the Governor immediately and ask her to veto the budget when it reaches her desk. Contact info: By phone: (919) 733-4240. By Fax: (919) 733-2120. By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the five House Democrats who voted with the House majority on the budget, and ask them (respectfully) to vote to sustain the Governor’s veto. Contacts are most important from constituents, but all of these representatives need to hear your concerns about this budget, regardless of whether you are a constituent. The five are:
Rep. William Brisson (from Dublin) – 919-733-5772; William.Brisson@ncleg.net
Rep. Jim Crawford (from Oxford) – 919-733-5824; Jim Crawford@ncleg.net
Rep. Dewey Hill (from Lake Waccamaw) – 919-733-5830; Dewey.Hill@ncleg.net
Rep. Bill Owens (from Elizabeth City) – 919-733-0010; Bill.Owens@ncleg.net
Rep. Tim Spear (from Creswell) – 919-715-3029; Tim.Spear@ncleg.net
This budget, if it passes, will set the state back by decades in how we demonstrate our commitment to the common good. This is true especially in education, care for vulnerable people, and protection of God’s creation. Please act now.
— George Reed, Executive Director
SENATE BUDGET: Education, public services slashed and burned
Legislative leaders unveiled a “compromise” bill on Tuesday that would devastate North Carolina’s economy and future.
Last week, the Senate released a state budget proposal that all but eradicated funding for early childhood programs and called for cuts that would result in the loss of 13,000 teacher assistant positions across the state. It slashed funding for mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services
Republican leaders presented a new budget proposal yesterday that on the surface seems to respond to many of the criticisms of the last week’s version. The new $19.7 budget, designed in the hope to withstand a veto from Gov. Bev Perdue, deleted some of the deep cuts to teacher assistant jobs and made slightly lower cuts to Health and Human Services.
Yet the budget proposal would still force local school districts to find $120 million in cuts – and that’s on top of $300 million in cuts to public education already in the budget. Although the “compromise” restored funding for teacher assistants, such restorations were offset by continued cuts to central office administration in schools, meaning that countless school principals, custodians, and other key education personnel will lose their jobs. The alleged “compromise” also included devastating cuts to juvenile justice education, indigent defense, a continued 20 percent cut to More at Four and Smart Start, and further unspecified cuts to Medicaid.
The latest budget proposal attempted to use minor improvements to distract from what continues to be an inflexible approach to managing North Carolina’s resources. It’s time for Gov. Perdue to veto the proposed budget and take a stand against a “compromise” that would only abandon North Carolina’s traditional commitment to education, economic growth and innovation.