Last week Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger announced that he plans to adjourn for the remainder of this year by the end of October without passing a budget for our state. Stay tuned.
North Carolina needs a real, comprehensive, balanced budget that meets all the needs of our state. Instead of reaching across the aisle and joining Governor Cooper and the House and Senate Democrats at the negotiating table, as our North Carolina Constitution requires, our Republican Legislative Leadership would rather resort to D.C.-style dysfunction, playing political games with the real needs, and real lives, of North Carolinians.
Let me be absolutely clear about what this means. On partisan lines, our Republican Legislative Leadership is obstructing, blocking North Carolina from receiving $8 billion for Medicaid Expansion. These are our taxes that we have paid. They are giving up on the opportunity to provide our teachers with good raises, and while we have given raises to a meager 27% of our state employees, they are still unwilling to see those raises extended to the remaining 73%. They are refusing to provide a reasonable cost of living adjustment to our state retirees, and they are blocking billions of dollars in local projects, including critical funding for our schools, community colleges, and university here in Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties.
Medicaid Expansion is far from the only reason why we are standing with Governor Cooper on his budget veto, but it is an extremely important reason. Be sure to scroll down to my “Notes” section of this newsletter for my breakdown of the billions of dollars we are currently wasting, and the billions we could be adding to our economy, for no new taxes, by simply accepting Medicaid Expansion for 500,000 North Carolinians.