The House & Senate are Stalling
The legislature will be temporarily adjourned until Wed. November 13th without the Senate taking up the Budget Veto override or the Legislature sitting down with Governor Cooper and negotiating a Comprehensive, Fair and Balanced Budget that works for all North Carolinians. Instead, we have muddled along for months on a bipartisan basis, doing our best to keep our state government afloat with “mini-budgets.”
First the Governor joined Democrat and Republican Legislators to pass Budget Bill HB111, which funds our state government functions at the same level they were funded in the previous year, excluding things that were paid for with one-time funds.
Next, we have passed some critical public safety funding and disaster relief that we all agreed upon.
We also accepted the State Employee raises of 5% for 27% of State Employees that the Republican Conference Budget was in agreement with Governor Cooper’s Budget on. However, we’re clearly not finished yet.
Additionally, some other important bipartisan mini-budgets successes were:
We tripled the GREAT Grant funding to help expand rural broadband from $10 million to $30 million.
We expanded the personal tax exemption, which is a solid working family tax cut.
We finally funded the clearing out of the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence and rape kits with HB29.
We also strengthened our laws on sexual assault and child abuse with SB199. Along with this, the bill added sexual assault training and human trafficking training to our NC School Curriculum.
What we have not done, and I stand with the Governor and his veto until we do are:
- Invest in adequate teacher and public educator pay raises instead of more corporate tax cuts.
- Pass a true voter approved School and Infrastructure Bond instead of a pork-barrel slush fund.
- Expand Medicaid, closing the healthcare coverage gap for a half million North Carolinians instead of wasting $4 billion of our tax dollars each year.
- Provide the remaining 73% of State Employees with a 5% raise and our retirees with a 2% COLA.
Governor Cooper is willing and ready to negotiate a Comprehensive Budget that is balanced, fair and serves everyone in our state. We can do better. For more details click Billions Better.
Soon we will have new and hopefully fairer Congressional District Maps to run on in 2020. The select committee on Congressional Redistricting is now meeting and the Courts are considering the directives for the redraw to be fair and nonpartisan. This is great news for the citizens of North Carolina. Click here for more.
The Push for Medicaid Expansion Continues
Despite the stalling and delays of the Legislative Leadership, a bipartisan majority of the NC House wants to expand Medicaid now! We are stymied by Speaker Moore’s waffling on his promise to allow the House to vote on this critical piece of legislation (HB655). Stay Tuned.