The General Assembly leaders meeting to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget are working with two deeply flawed proposals. As our friend Chris Fitzsimon at NC Policy Watch explains, the plans range from spiteful to dishonest. He writes in part:
Senate leaders included breathtakingly bad policy decisions in their budget including one provision taking food benefits fully funded by the federal government away from 133,000 people and another that bans wind farms in the state.
The already bad Senate plan was made even worse in the final hours of debate when Republican leaders stripped funding for economic development and education programs for low-income kids in Democratic districts to punish Democrats who dared to offer amendments to change the spending plan handed down from on high.
The Senate budget went from anemic and dangerous to spiteful.
House leaders left out most of the onerous policy changes the Senate included but their budget has a different problem. It’s full of smoke and mirrors.
Budgets are moral documents that must reflect our commitment to the best North Carolina for all. This includes funding services for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers, supporting strong public schools, and caring for creation. The spending plans that General Assembly leaders are now working to reconcile do not reflect a state concerned with everyone but rather one trying to punish those who live in low income while continuing to drive away teachers and to undermine the well-being of our planet.
A better route Chris suggests:
…they could start by taking another look at the budget proposed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
It’s not perfect either but it is not dishonest or spiteful and it actually puts education and families ahead of tax cuts and rigid anti-government ideology. Imagine that.